Hello my friends.
Today is the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the US.
It's sort of my generation's Pearl Harbor, or Kennedy Assassination. Everyone my age knows exactly where they were the moment the two planes hit the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania.
I can tell you where I was and what I was doing:
I was in the car, stuck in traffic in downtown Waukesha. The Boy had just been picked up to go to school and the Girl and I were on our way to my mother's house. My parents had just moved into their home and I was going to spend the morning moving furniture around. The Girl had preschool in the afternoon, so I was a little frustrated at the traffic detour that took me through the snarled streets of Waukesha.
I was listening, as I have for almost 20 years, to Bob and Brian on the radio. Their sports guy, Steve Czaben, was starting his segment at about 7:50 in the morning. He started by telling the guys to turn on their TV in the studio, that some idiot had just flown his plane into the World Trade Center.
As they turned on their TV, and as they watched, the second plane hit.
"Sports is over." Was all they said and they went right to their producer, Eric, who got as much news out as quickly as he could.
I know most people in SE Wisconsin flipped over to the two powerful AM stations for news. I was too stunned, and I needed the comfort of familiar voices. So I listened to Bob and Brian until I got to my mother's house and we had the TV and the AM news radio on. I moved no furniture that day.
I don't speak of it often. I start crying when I do. This weekend has been emotional for me. I know today, especially, we'll see the images we've seen for 10 years. Images a new generation "the children of 9-11" need to see to remind them how fragile peace and life are and how heroic normal people can be when called upon.
For me, the image I carry with me every day is a quiet one. It's not one you'll see in most of the remembrance shows. I couldn't find it on the Internet to post it here. of the many images they showed after the attacks, one is so much a part of me now I wear it on my heart. It was an image of a street. There were no people on the street, only some parked cars, covered in ash, and shoes. Hundreds of pairs of shoes. Women's shoes everywhere in this street. The woman ran for their lives so hard, they left behind their office shoes. For me, as a person who loves shoes, this image made so clear to me the panic those people must have felt.
So today, my friends, I ask one thing: Let's be kind to each other. Let's learn to live peacefully with our differences and work together where there is common ground. Let's never forget the events of the past and let's learn from them. Let's embrace our friends, near and far, and let's use our powers for good, to build, not to destroy.
God bless us, all.