It's always interesting to read people's "where were you on 9/11" stories. Seeing how they intersect, or how the same experience was so different for different people.
I've mentioned before how I feel about this day. It never changes. I avoid the news, I immediately turn away from pictures. I can't even bring myself to attend the memorial events. But when people post the "where were you on that Tuesday morning" posts on Facebook or Twitter or message boards, I'm drawn to them.
On one Navy message board I'm still on, its been fascinating today to read everyone's stories, see the connections made that people hadn't realized (because the veil of anonymity on the interwebz and everything), get chills from various stories. Like the guy who was on deployment overseas and a German ship asked to pass alongside, and when they did, all their folks were in dress uniform holding a big sign that said "We stand with you." Perhaps it just takes me back to that feeling I know many of us had that day, once the fear and panic subsided. Yes, there was uncertainty and more fear and all that goes along with the loss of control for OCD control freaks like me. But there was also a feeling of togetherness, of common sympathy and empathy, of love and concern for each other that I'm not sure has really been felt since, except maybe almost after Newtown. That feeling that nothing else was important at that moment except the desire to heal, altogether, from the same horrible incident.
I will forever be grateful for my Daddy's dentist for running behind that morning, because otherwise, he would have been in the exact area of the Pentagon that was hit. In fact, he would have been in the same meeting with several of the people who were killed. One of my classmates will be forever grateful that his relative on the NYFD chose that day as his first personal day in many years and was playing golf instead of responding with his ladder to the first tower to be hit - the whole ladder was lost. Another was thankful that one of their loved ones had missed a flight that morning, because that plane was one of the 4. And there are so many more other stories - the planes that were not even half full, the section of the Pentagon that was nowhere near full capacity because it had just been renovated and offices hadn't moved back in yet, random stories of people running late, or taking a sick day, or whatever.
I've posted my thoughts on religion before too, so I'm not gonna get into that now. But I do want to say that there is no way for me to hear about all of these close calls, all of these circumstances that made the casualty number that day SO much lower than it could have been, and NOT believe that there is a higher power out there looking out for us and working in amazing ways. I need to do better to remember that more often.
I know that all of my paragraphs don't link together very well in this post. But that's OK. These words are my diary and all that :) Even 12 years later, this day is still confusing. There are still emotions that don't make sense, and seem jumbled together. So it only makes sense that my thoughts are too. And that's OK. Because like my new friend Miranda says, when its your blog, you get to make the rules!