11th anniversary

It's been 11 years since the World Trade Centre went down.  So I'm sharing what I've always found the be the most moving first-person recounting of it that I've ever come across, published 3 days later.  This piece gets me weepy, even on my least sensitive days, so fair warning.

Me, I was off work that day, because I'd just returned from France the night before.  My boyfriend at the time phoned me, waking me up.  "I think you should turn on the TV, I think something big is happening.  They're turning back the bus to the airport; I'll be back there soon."  He and I sat staring at the television almost all day, unable to tear ourselves away until late afternoon.  A lot of my friends managed to get to the trading floors at their work places and watch on the televisions there, or on the one at the foot of the Scotia Tower.  One friend would call once in a while for updates.  "Something just hit the WTC," I told her, "Part of it is broken.  There's lots of smoke.  Wait, it's collapsing.  It can't be.  It is, it's falling down."  She started crying, promising she'd call back later.  When you work in an financial institution you tend to acquire several contacts, colleagues, friends in NYC.  Who work right near there.

I didn't have any personal losses;  one friend was unable to return to her hotel, because it was deemed unsafe.  But one of my best friends from high school received a Blackberry text from a friend and co-worker who was on the top floor and afraid, asking her to contact his wife.  "I'm afraid, this is not a joke," he said, since he was known to play pranks.  The bank soon after named a meeting room after him, and set up a scholarship fund for his children.  I couldn't even look at my friend from down the hall at work for months without bursting into tears.

We started taking fire drills more seriously at work.  My colleagues in NYC were drilled in emergency procedures and evacuations for ages after.  Every time anything out of the ordinary happened, everyone would worry.  And this was in Toronto.

My heart goes out to everybody who was in the area that day, or normally would have been.  To anybody who lost anybody.  If I was a mess for somebody who I didn't know except by name, whose only connection to me was my friend, how much more difficult it must still be for those whose losses were closer.

Yes, there are so many other tragedies in the world.  Please forgive all of those who can't get as emotionally connected until it's something that hits so much closer to home.  But this was the tragedy that I connected to, and probably always will.

And once they've happened, there's nothing you can do to make it not have happened.  But people coming together, helping others however they can, making sure they reach out to those we love, that effect is worthwhile, even if it doesn't compensate for the losses.

Important note:  This post is for sharing and support.  Have whatever discussion you want in your own posts or other threads open to it.  But do not post your related conspiracy theories here.  Or any views about how innocent people in the States deserved it.  Or that none of them were innocent.  Or that this doesn't deserve attention because of other bad things in the world, and your bitterness over that.  Or any of the other bullshit I've seen about the September 11 tragedy.  This is also not a platform for hate speech related to race or religion.  I'm not even interested in people being skeptical about it and lively discourse.  Maybe on other topics, but for this one particularly, you only comment if you show respect.  Others will be blocked.
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