Wednesday, September 12, 2012

11 Years Later


WTC 9-11-12

                                                                        Image credit:  Brendan Loy photostream

Eleven years ago today, the world changed forever.  Maybe we weren’t entirely innocent even before that day, but certainly we lost some part of our ingenuous simplicity; we were stripped of our ability to trust without question.

Like most adults, I can tell you where I was when those horrible events unfolded; it’s etched into my brain indelibly, delivered to conscious thought in a series of moments frozen in time.  Being at work that morning (having just returned from vacation—and commercial flight—the day before) and hearing the first co-worker utter the words that “something has happened in New York”.  Hanging out in the break room every possible minute, huddled around the TV with dozens of other employees, trying to understand the incomprehensible.  Being in a training room—nobody really learning much of anything—when a manager came in to tell us the first tower had fallen.  And, of course, the calls.

At the time, I was working in a customer service call center for a mobile phone company.  As you may remember (or can imagine), phone service—both wireless and landline—was pushed past its limits that day.  Not only was part of the network infrastructure lost in the damage, but everyone was trying to reach out to family and friends, and first responders were trying to coordinate a response to a situation they could never have imagined.  The lines were simply over capacity.  And when customers couldn’t reach their loved ones, they called us, asking us—begging us—to please get them in touch with their husbands, wives, fathers, mothers.  It’s never been so hard to be so powerless. 

In the days to follow, those calls would become desperate pleas to track phone locations and offer assurances that the service was still in use somewhere, even if the husband/wife/father/mother hadn’t managed to connect with those at home.  And, eventually, the calls became requests to preserve final messages, to change plans to the lowest price available—but not cancel the service—so that they could still call the number and hear a voicemail greeting. 

So very, very much was lost on that day, and there was not a person in the country unaffected, no matter how tangentially. 

On this day of remembrance, I’ve been browsing around the net, reading others’ memories of the day, about their experiences on that day and lessons they’ve taken from them.  I am encouraged—as I have been many times in the aftermath of the tragedy—that Americans have gone on.  We’ve been hurt, and scarred, but we’ve gone on.  Much was lost on that September morning, but the list of losses did not include love, persistence, faith. 

I’d like to share with you some of the posts—stories, art, memories—that have touched me the most today, and leave you with the reminder that even in the face of the worst kind of hate, love prevailed.  I have to believe the terrorists consider that something of a failure, and that makes me proud of us.


Caryn’s Thoughts

Refreshingly Riki

Midnight Musings

Life After Tampons


The Romantic Vineyard

The Big Picture

The Great Gordino

Flickr, 9-11 Remembrance

The Daybook