Seven years ago today, at about this time, I was driving to Blue Ridge Road to give blood. I needed to do something, to help in some way. They were turning people away because they didn’t have the staff to accomodate everyone who felt like I did.
The next day, September 12, 2001, I sat at my desk and listened to New Yorkers’ and Washingtonians’ and Pennsylvanians’ accounts of what happened the day before and cried. I cried because I heard grown men, cops and firefighters, crying. I cried because people couldn’t find their loved ones. I cried because some incredibly brave people on a plane had made the greatest sacrifice they could make for their country. I cried because I didn’t understand what had happened the day before, and I was afraid.
It was an awful day, that Tuesday. Full of confusion, fear and paranoia. I watched Peter Jennings break down on the air. I saw people jumping to their deaths from the Towers. I heard answering machine messages from fathers, mothers, husbands and wives who knew they were going to die.
But I woke up today and went about my normal routine. I didn’t realize the significance of the date until mid-morning. And I don’t know how to feel about that.
And I still don’t think I understand what happened that day.