This last weekend, local firefighters climbed 112 stories to remember and honor the first responders lost in the Sept. 11 attack. This happens every year, and I absolutely love that they do it!
But I was confused when I heard about it. Sept. 11th was still a long ways away.
I’m really glad I was by myself as my mind started doing the math and realized that its September, and actually 9/11 would only be in a few more days. I’m pretty sure there was a visible light-bulb moment all over my face.
Ever since its happened (9/11, not the light bulb moment), I’ve looked on this day as momentous. Last year, I recounted where I was when I found out about the tragedy. This year… this year I’m more aware of how much time has passed since 9/11/01.
When I card someone at the bar, they have to have a birth date of that particular day, 1991, or before. 1991. The people just becoming old enough to drink legally were 10 years old when the towers fell. College students were in elementary school. That blows my mind in a way. And its not me going, “OMG I’m old!” in that statement. It’s me realizing that soon the emotional attachment to that day will wane, as it becomes more like a paragraph in our history books.
Bin Laden may be dead, but Al Qaeda is still active. There are people still dealing with the aftermath of the day, every day. Be it with health difficulties, dealing with the loss of their loved one(s) or just living looking over their shoulder — 9/11 is still very real and still very strong for thousands of Americans. It’s NOT a paragraph in a history book. Not yet.
But that time will come, and I think it comes with healing. It’s not forgetting. It’s not disrespecting. It’s healing. It takes time, but it does come. I, for one, do welcome that healing even as I’ll forever pause when I think of 9/11.