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I didn't lose anyone I knew personally, but I was pregnant with Matthew, and he was born less than a month after the events on September 11, 2001. I knew I was having a boy, and my greatest fear was that I was bringing a child, a male child, into a world I no longer understood. Funny, I was thinking of my in utero child being drafted (and yes, I know, woman are fighting for our country, too). I even had a OB/GYN appointment that day, and naturally, I was worried about my blood pressure after such a shock. I was also sending my kindergartener to school that afternoon (but I decided not to). And I was afraid to let my husband (at the time) go to work downtown because there were still planes being hijacked. Also, I was feeling very shocked because he had done work in the Twin Towers on several occasions. Oddly, I think this was the time that I really felt like I had grown up, even though I was married with one child and one on the way. I think it was the first time I really felt my innocence was gone, and I started to look at the world with different eyes. I had always walked on the sunny side of the street, so to speak, and suddenly, I didn't know if that side would be ever there again.
Now, I realize these are not the kind of things that we are supposed to remember. We are supposed to feel pride and gratitude for the heroes on that day and the days after (and, believe me, I do). We are supposed to remember those who's lives were lost (and, I certainly do, too). But when all that has been recalled, it all comes down to personal memories. Those are the things that help us get in touch with remembering that day, nine years and 15 years and 20 years later, and feeling grateful for what we didn't lose that day. A student of mine shared her reflections of that day in class last night. Her daughter was born on September 11, 2006, and she recalled praying her child won't be born on that date. To make her story more poignant, she is Muslim, and had her own concerns about her and her family's safety on that day and after.
We all have a story to tell. Some may be more painful than others, and some more angry. Feel free to share you story here.