Well, it's finally 9/12. I made it through another day of 9/11 memorials and tributes. Newspapers, magazines and televisions were dedicated to coverage of that horrific tragedy ten years ago. Truth be told, I didn't watch any of it.
Even ten years later, I can't watch a movie about the terrorist attacks on the twin towers. I tried my hardest to ignore 9/11. I marked the day with a simple Facebook post to my old New York roommate. "You're in my thoughts today." Then I shut off my computer and went to a local fair with my wife. Instead of watching coverage of the memorial, I filled up on hot dogs and soda and toured booths selling hand made items that were destined for closets and future tag sales.
It's not that I don't appreciate what happened. Just the opposite. On September 11, 2001, I was working for a litigation clinic in New York. My sister Jennifer worked for RCA records in Times Square.The night before I had attended a rooftop fundraiser not far from the towers. I don't have any stories of missing planes or subways. I didn't work in the Towers. But like most Americans, the events of 9/11 had a profound impact on me. Many "what ifs" crossed through my mind. What if I stayed with a friend that night in the city? What if I accepted that internship in the Twin Towers? What if I stayed at New York Law School instead of transferring to Pace? I was a graduate of both Pace University and Manhattanville College. Some of my friends and acquaintances lost their lives in the Towers. Why was I so lucky?
I will never forget that horrific day. That cell phone call from my sister asking if I heard what was going on as firetruck after firetruck flew by her car to impending death. I remember my roommate Pat coming home after hours of searching for him. He was covered from head to toe in dust. His office was across the street from the Towers. All the windows were blown out. I remember watching the coverage with my roommate Nicole who managed to make it home earlier from Manhattan. I couldn't help wondering how they dealt with the tragedy. After all, they were there. I remember a phone call from my grandmother from Poland asking if I was OK. I remember a once bustling metropolis becoming a ghost town with soldiers and barricades standing guard at Grand Central Station. I remember countless people searching for loved ones with seemingly thousands of photos pinned on walls. "Have you seen my dad?" "Searching for my wife. Please call."
I will never forget 9/11, but sometimes I wish I could.