I did not remember.
Let me correct myself, had someone informed me of the date yesterday, nobody would have had to remind me of it's significance, but I simply was not paying attention.
It wasn't until part way through the day when I happened upon a Facebook post and I recalled.
It was 9/11. Again. Nine years later.
There were were several blog posts about the day, and references to the occasion on Facebook, but other than that September 11, 2010 passed without much fan fare. Just another day.
But how could that be?
After all 9/11 is not just a date anymore, it's a noun. A marker. Before and after.
Nine years is a lot of time. A whole heck of a lot of life has happened in the time that has passed since that day, so it is natural for the lines to blur and the intensity to fade.
I remember the one year anniversary. My husband had to take a business trip. He had to fly. Trust me when I tell you that I hugged him a little bit harder than usual before he departed for the airport that morning. I went to work that day not knowing quiet what to expect. I was working in downtown Denver on the 22nd floor of the Tabor center. Yes, I thought twice before boarding the elevator up to my office. But it was only Denver. It was only the Tabor Center, and they had banned baby formula and bottled water on airplanes, so we were all safe...right?
That anniversary was certainly acknowledged across the country. Morning television covered a memorial service at Ground Zero, ribbons and bumper stickers were passed out on the 16th street mall, but it didn't seem enough. I am not sure what I was expecting. A national holiday?
That evening my friend Mary came over for dinner. David was out of town, and I felt the need to somehow personally mark the occasion. I made a nice spread for a week night, I believe it included a cheesecake. We had candles. We sat on my sofa drinking wine and sharing our memories of the tragedy. The obvious ones, the ones we all share. The images of the blazing towers. Human beings clinging to the building's exterior from dizzying heights. A man flying free from the burning inferno, his arms out-stretched, his tie flapping in the wind behind him-his last living moments, captured in a People Magazine. Had his mother squinted her eyes at the blurry image and recognized him as her son?
We discussed our more personal memories as well. I shared how several days after 9/11 I sat in a conference room at the mostly Christian company where I was employed. We were gathered there for a "prayer session", something that I would ordinarily not participate in, yet somehow seemed appropriate. At that moment I had the strange sensation of being both an outsider, and being strangely bonded in humanity to a room full of strangers. That feeling of unity was the one positive that was born from tragedy. For the next few months we were a country bound together, fighting a common enemy. The highways were dotted with homemade banners proclaiming "United We Stand". I got goosebumps every time I passed beneath one.
That night Mary and I remembered. It is an evening I will recall as a long as I do 9/11.
Now all of these years later, it is a moment that has defined the era, and impacted generations to come. My son's will never know what is was to be able to walk your family right up to their airplane, or greet a grandparent the moment she walked off . They will grow up in a time of "orange alerts" and security warnings and they will never know anything else.
We have moved on as nation, as we must. Life goes on. Yet the images of those days are now burned into our DNA. The world has changed.
And we never can forget.