This may be “controversial” — but I won’t be sharing pictures of the devastation that most all of us remember so vividly from that morning 18 years ago.
I would rather remember the lives of those people, people from all walks and places who worked in NYC, D.C., or were on those planes there and in Pennsylvania.
I would rather remember the World Trade Center Plaza the way it stood — impossibly large and magnificent.
I would rather remember and honor the younger me that stared wide-eyed and awestruck up at those towers as I walked through the Plaza, past the coffee stands to report for my interview at the American Express TRS offices at the Plaza.
I would rather remember looking out of the floor-to-ceiling windows from my Amex cubby-office on the 38th floor and feeling weak-kneed looking down at the impressively large yachts on the water below nearby (I’ve always been afraid of heights.)
I would rather remember the delicious (and massive!) burritos I used to get for lunch (with leftovers for dinner) from the California Burrito shop downstairs.
I would instead remember being on the Bay in a sailboat watching the fireworks on July 4th.
Or even (trying) to root for the Jets while having a cider ale at McSwiggans (the most awesome little pub, ever!) — even though I’ve been a Cowboys fan since birth.
I would rather remember working with the most incredible and diverse cast of awesome people who all seemed taken by my “southern” accent.
I wasn’t there on 9/11. Years prior I had moved back to my home-state of West Virginia.
But NYC, her people, and the friends I made there left a mark on me that I’ll always carry… and the unstoppable, exciting energy of that city I can still feel in my bones.
Just another “thought I knew everything” young woman, fresh from the “hillbilly mountains” of West Virginia, ready to take on the world.
I don’t remember it prior to the tragedies as a way to forget… no, anyone who was alive during that, and anyone who had ties to any of those places or people will never — NEVER — forget. There were losses there that can never be forgotten, recovered, rebuilt… ever.
I choose to honor the memory of those people — of those places — by honoring their lives. The ‘life’ of the cities that were forever changed. And the life and energy of a country who suffered a wound that we have not yet recovered from… a wound that remains under the surface even now, and tarnishes the glorious idea and energy of ‘freedom’ that we always cherished, and, yes, even took for granted before that day.
No, we’ll never forget.