Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen Years After 9/11

Fifteen years later and the emotions remain raw.

These are notes I made on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 when I still lived in Montclair, New Jersey.

September 11, 2006

Over morning coffee I read some blog essays remembering the attacks and where we stand five years later. S and I talked about our frustration with friends who don’t see the same threat we do; how we want to shake them by the shoulders and wake them up.

I couldn’t concentrate on my writing so I set off to do some mindless photocopying in town. Walking to the car I noticed the sky was a perfectly clear blue. Strange how the weather on the anniversary is almost always the same as the original.

I drove past K’s house [the 9/11 widow up the block] and noticed several pickup trucks parked outside. Her fireman friends keeping her company, as they do every year on this day.

I saw [my neighbor] D jogging down the street and pulled over to say hello.

“This is such a sad day,” he said.

“I know. It still gets to me too,” I said. (I had to look away.)

Then he blurted out, “It’s the same sky.” Now he was sobbing. “I’ve been crying almost my whole run.”

He walked off and I drove to the copy shop where I had to keep my shades on.

Thought I was back on an even keel. Then at four in the afternoon a Montclair Fire Department ladder truck came up the street with lights flashing, flying the Stars and Stripes. They paused a while in front of K’s house, blew their horn, and drove on.

I was a mess.

It’s dark out now. They’ve lit the two blue lights at Ground Zero. I still think it’s the best memorial.