Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago I was eating a bagel in the dining hall of Purchase College, watching curiously as the television showed a plane hitting one of the Twin Towers. "What a terrible accident," I thought. I left the dining hall and walked across campus to the Registrar's office, where I worked.

When I got there the second plane had already hit and people were walking around with dazed expressions on their faces. Someone pulled down a large projection screen and turned the news on as if it were a movie. When the towers collapsed, a collective gasp ripped through the room. Our campus was only a few miles outside of the city and classes were canceled for a week. I was sent home from work and went back to the dorms to sit with my friends, drink beer and try to make sense of this terrifying new world.

That day, I knew things would never be the same. I mourned the lives that had been lost and the life that was slipping away in front of my eyes. We were so naive. We were so simple. We were so trusting. We would never be that way again.

Last year, two very important things happened on September 11th. A dear friend married a beautiful and kind woman in the mountains of Massachusetts, and in Texas one of my favorite couples welcomed a perfect daughter into their family.

This is the lesson that I have learned from September 11th: there is no way to know what the world will look like tomorrow and so we must make the most of today. Today I think back on that morning ten years ago and I remember. And then I think about friends in love and children celebrating first birthdays, the ways in which our world has changed, some for the better, some for the worse, and I take my memories, and I move forward.