I had woken up early. It was one of those mornings that just did not feel quite right. I remember distinctly thinking that as I got out of bed. I turned on the coffee and jumped in the shower. I tried to shake off that weird feeling, thinking to myself “it’s just another Tuesday.” I was wrong.After my shower I poured a cup of coffee, lit a cigarette, and turned on the TV.
I watched in utter shock, as did the rest of the country, the events of that day. September 11th. I guess everyone has different pictures in their mind of what affected them the most about those days following 9/11. I think I was on the verge of being sick almost every day for a week.
I remember a lot of things. Music has such a healing power, and I remember this tribute that was on only a few short days after 9/11. As time would pass I would relate many songs to 9/11, but none still break me down like Bruce’s, My City Of Ruins.
I remember seeing a montage of the scattered ruins that had been the World Trade Center. I remember all those posters that were everywhere. I remember holding it all in, until I saw this woman who was looking for her husband. She was talking to a news camera, describing her husband who had worked in one of the Twin Towers. She was very matter of fact, describing what he wore that day, his hair & eye color, his build, all the things that might help someone recognize him.
Then the newscaster asked if there was anything else she wanted to say about her husband. The woman stared at his picture and began to cry. She looked up through her tears and simply said, “Yes, he loves Christmas, and we just can’t have Christmas if he’s not here.” I lost it, and began to cry.
The way I viewed the world changed after 9/11, forever. I learned about tragedy, heroism, true patriotism, and community. I learned that bad things happen everywhere no matter what. The only thing we have control over is whether we choose to let those bad things bury us in the ruins, or whether we choose to rise up. No one said that better than Bruce.
Though it’s been nine years I have not forgotten.