It's one of those events that you know exactly where you were when it happened. They way our parents knew where they were when Kennedy was shot, or the Spaceship Challenger exploded. I read in a book recently about this, remembering the moment before as the last "normal" moment.
I was on maternity leave loving quiet playtime with my 7 month old. My husband phoned on his way to the Toronto Airport (on route to Detroit), to tell me that a plane had hit the world trade center and all flights were grounded, he was on his way back to work. Like many others, I wondered why air traffic was halted for an accident, I could only assume that this plane was a small Cessna-type and some pilot had made a fatal error. I took my daughter off to the gym to continue on our way. It was there that we saw the second plane hit the second tower and then the third hit the pentagon and the fourth crash in the field. I took my daughter home and holed up in our house. I didn't know what else to do. I'm not American, it wasn't my country and yet somehow it was an assault on all of us, it shattered our sense of safety. (That wasn't meant as a callus comment - I'm trying to convey that although it happened on American soil, somehow it happened to all of us.)
I found myself emotional all day yesterday and could barely remember that fateful day without tearing up. I can't imagine what it was like for people in New York or people who actually lost someone that day.
Two years after 9-11 a huge power surge/problem caused a power outage all over Ontario and many places nearby. I remember feeling that it must certainly have been a terrorist attack again. Fortunately, this time it was a crazy accident not a deliberate event but I didn't assume that at first as I had on Sept. 11.
I wonder if we are at the point yet, when an accident can occur, and we don't automatically think its terrorism.
My son wasn't born yet on 9-11, he came 2 yrs later (not as a result of the power outage!!). He was sad last night because the rest of us had memories of Sept. 11 (although my daughter only knows what I've told her about our day together) and he wasn't a part of it, didn't have any memories of it. This made me happy that there is a whole generation of children out there who don't have one of those defining moments. The moments that happen and you remember where you were when you heard the news forever.
Maybe he never will.
One can hope.