Six years. Is it me, or have these years just sped by us? I remember 9-11-01 like it happened yesterday, and like those who remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated or when the Challenger blew up, I can still see my surroundings as I watched the Towers fall on TV.
And I can still hear my sister's voice when she called later that morning, demanding in a tear-filled voice that I tell her my husband, who'd been on a work detail to Washington DC for 3 weeks prior to the 11th, wasn't on one of those planes. He wasn't. He came home on the 8th. On American Airlines.
I remember feeling like a balloon being deflated when she called as it hit me just how close to the events of the day we were. Clearly, not as close as nearly 3000 others, but still, too close for comfort. Or peace of mind. I was a wreck for the rest of the day, and all I could do was cry and pray through the horror. That evening, I attended a candlelight prayer service, as I'm sure millions of Americans across the nation did.
The first time I got on an airplane after that was 2003, when we flew home to visit the families. We'd moved east by then. I was scared spitless. I'm still not fond of flying, but I do it. Why? Because, I refuse to live in fear.
We had an opportunity to visit New York City in the spring of 2006. We did go to Ground Zero. I read the timeline posted above the chainlink fence on one side of the area. We saw the hunk of metal that jutted up into the air, looking like a cross. We saw the scaffolding across the face of one of the buildings across the street from the site. The air almost vibrates there with residual energy. Earlier that day, we ferried over to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, and could see the Manhattan skyline very well. The eye automatically is drawn to where the Twin Towers once stood. The ferries each had a plaque hanging on a wall commending the line and the individual boats for their service in helping to evacuate people out of Manhattan on 9-11.
I asked my Grandma once if 9-11 was as scary as December 7th, 1941. Her answer: "Every bit as scary."