Seventeen years ago. September 11, 2001. Do you remember what you were doing…where you were? I do. I remember.

My youngest daughter was two years old. She had come down with a bad cold and we had been up half the night. I woke up at about eight o’clock that morning. The television was on, which was strange. Usually, it was quiet after everyone else in the house had gone to school or work. The baby was with me. I guess she may have slept with me, or I with her. I held her on my hip.

I glanced at the television as I passed through the den to the kitchen. A picture of a skyscraper caught my eye. A tower with smoke pouring from near the top. What in the world? I thought. White flecks were falling from it. Why are people throwing paper out of a skyscraper? Large pieces. Fluttering down like white doves from a tree branch. I sat on the edge of the chair closest to the television, baby on my knee, and read the scroll at the bottom of the screen.

An airplane had crashed into the side of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Near the eightieth floor. Twenty-one floors above, the roof. Traders, bankers, lawyers, secretaries, custodians, maids, people who left their homes for work that morning, no idea it would be for the last time. How awful. I wondered what in the world had happened. How did the airplane crash into the tower? The idea was not impossible the pilot might have had an engine malfunction, maybe a stupid bird flew into the jet engine right after takeoff. Stuff happens. Every day. Tragic.


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