That day, I was late to work and wondered why no one was at their desk when I arrived at the office. Had I forgotten an all-staff meeting? I found them, huddled together in front of the t.v. in the conference room, tears on their faces. And then I learned what happened.
They evacuated our building, and all the tall office buildings downtown and sent us home. I felt so alone, in my apartment, glued to the t.v., which I normally never watch. What I remember the most, is the complete absence of sound overhead.
The skies were bright and blue, just like today, and an eery quiet filled the air. Not a sound. Not a single plane.
I was lucky. I am lucky still. I didn’t personally know anyone who died. I didn’t live in New York City and I wasn’t faced with the horror of the what happened or the days and months that followed.
But what happened changed many things that I do think about to this day. Especially when I travel.
I think about 9-11 every time I toss my water bottle or my yogurt into the trash bin before I go through security. I think about it when I am told I can or cannot bring this or that with me onto the plane. I think about it when I pass through the scanner. I think about it when I board the plane and look at my fellow passengers, and wonder.
The losses from that day are many. It’s impossible not to be moved by the stories of the men and women who were lost, and the lives their life touched: family and friends and coworkers.
Most of the reminders I face are mere inconveniences compared with anyone who had a personal connection to those who died that day. But I do think about how, in an instant, the world changed.