« a collage | Main | kids of katrina update »


I still think about it on days like this, when the sky is a deep blue, the clouds are perfectly formed bundles of white, the air is crisp and cool; chilly enough for long sleeves but warm enough to keep the windows in the car rolled down. It was a just like that day. It was a perfect day, for a while.

I still think about it every time a plane flies low overhead, casting a quick shadow over my house. Sometimes just the noise of a plane approaching will jar my memory.

I still think about it when I look at the New York City skyline.

I still think about it when I see my father in his firefighter dress uniform.

I still think about it daily, but it's only when reminders like a perfect pre-autumn day or the roar of a jet engine kick up the dust where I store all those memories. It's not there, right out front any more. And when I do think about it, the thoughts are fleeting, sometimes lasting only seconds. It's not like it used to be, when the mere sight of an airplane could send me into a tailspin. It's not like it used to be, where just mentioning it could make me spend the rest of the day talking, writing, emoting about it.

I think that's a good thing, no? Time marches on, as do our lives. Just because you don't think about it as often doesn't mean you don't remember.

I dreamed last night about firemen and burning buildings and memorials. So it's there, it's all there saved and stored, but put away in place that only comes alive when dreamed about, or when disturbed by a perfect blue sky or a glimpse of the city from the view of a bridge. That's good, I tell myself.

But sometimes you do want to think about it. You can't help it. When the sky is the same and the date is the same and maybe you read someone else's words about it and it comes back, you want to remember, for some reason. Because you have to. Or you read your own words, and it comes back and you remember, because you have to:

The thing I remember most about the early part of that day is the weather. It was a perfect day; the sky was a deep, cloudless blue and the air was filled with the comforting warmth that comes when summer starts slinking into autumn.

What I remember most about the moments after the news broke was my drive home from work. I fled my federal office building in a panic that day, still not sure if more attacks were coming, if they were happening elsewhere, if the world was ending. I drove east, towards my home, but kept looking back in my rear view mirror at the brown, smoky haze filling the sky. My hands were shaking and tears were streaming down my face and I was frightened, so frightened, because we didn't know. We did not know what would come next, or if that was the end. I looked at every car that drove next to me, at every other driver at the stop lights. They were all crying or wide-eyed or clutching their steering wheel so hard I could see their knuckles turning white.

When I got home, I woke Justin, who was still sleeping after spending all night working on a project. In my fear and disbelief, I blurted out something like, wake up the world is ending, and we turned on the television and stared for hours and I just remember this numbness going through me, the goosebumps of fear and horror that rose on my arms.

Isn't that funny that it's the weather I remember more than anything? The absolute perfection of that day. The way the sky looked, the way the sun felt, the way the breeze blew, the temperature, the shape of the clouds. It's like a curse, that every day of perfection like that, I should think of this.

I've finished putting up my archives online. There's more, but this is as much as I felt like rehashing.

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

The Days After






It was such a gorgeous day. I remember driving to the office and saying out loud to myself "what a beautiful day!" I don't remember ever doing that before, or since. And everytime there is a similar gogeous day, with a cloudless blue sky, it all comes back.

I remember the weather, too. You're right, it looked just like this morning.

Sites like yours remind me why I enjoy reading blogs so much: it is always done so very well.

Thank you

Even in Kansas, the day was just as you described. Perfect blue sky.

I was fortunate to have suffered no personal loss myself, but my heart still goes out to everyone whose lives were forever changed that day.

I was thousands of miles away, yet I still tend to see my life in "before 9/11" and "after 9/11" terms.

Thanks for re-posting your archives. You eloquently caputred many of the thoughts and emotions that we as a country were having that day, and the days after.

I was 1500 miles away watching the Today show when I first heard a plane had hit the World Trade Center. As I watched the day unfold I couldn't think. I called my client and said I wouldn't be in that day. I have always shaken my head at people who watch disasters for hours, wringing their hands and "making" themselves upset, but I couldn't take my eyes of the screen.

I remember both Kennedy assassinations and King's assassination and every major event since 1963 but this was the first time I just stared at the screen.

The weird thing is that I have never been a fan of New York City. (Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.) So my interest in it felt strange. I do remember hoping I didn't know anyone working there. I couldn't be sure because I had known people who might have ended up there and be glad to be there. As far as I know, I didn't but that doesn't lessen the feeling.

I think I had a point when I started to write this but I seem to have lost it. Thank you for the chance to purge anyway.

Hello Michele. First, thank you for your tremendous efforts to help Katrina victims. You have a good heart.

However, my main reason for commenting today is this: To commemorate 9/11, I've decided to visit every single blog on my blogroll today. I appreciate the entertainment and enjoyment you provide, and I wish you peace and happiness.

A beautiful tribute michele.

Thank you for posting these. We need to remember.

The part that hit me most today was this one:
"Billy also wanted to stress the importance of all the people standing around, cheering them on, giving thanks, sending donations. He said he saw a lot of people on tv saying they didn't know what to do, that they felt helpless, but Billy and all the other rescuers seem to think that the volunteers who are standing on the sides of the roads with thank you signs and bottled water are the real heroes."

It just reminds me that not only do we need to remember all the victims of Katrina, but the people down there who have to sift through the mess over the next weeks or months or whatever it's going to take.

I LOVE the new header - you Misfit you!

I said the same thing on my blog today.
It's one of those days you never forget. 20 years from now, it will be-

Where were you and what were you doing when the first building was hit.

My 7 y/o nephew remembers. He shouldn't I sort of wish he didn't but in the same vein I'm glad he does. He knows that there is bad stuff but what he remembers is the fireman going to his day care and washing thier hands and using the bathroom. One year later, we were playing and he took the toys and put them to the side..when I asked why, he said it was where the people were who were hurt when the building fell down.
That's when I realized he remembered more then just the fireman washing their hands. We still talk about it and still cry about it. Never forget.

Have you noticed this? We have:

Forgetting means hard-won lessons will be lost.


This is a 5-minute video memorial. No burning buildings, no rubble, no explosions, no speeches, no screeches, no Bin Laden, no bodies. Just a remembrance of some people whose lives were cut short through no fault of their own, with poignant candid snapshots from their lives, accompanied by a musical background.

Just to say hellow!