9-11, Ten Years Later
Everybody has a 9/11 story. The story of my day is nothing remarkable. If one memory stands out, it was watching the repeated footage of the plane hitting the tower, and seeing our 1 1/2 year-old daughter point and excitedly yell: “Airplane!!” She was old enough to recognize airplanes as those things that fly in the sky, but not old enough to recognize that they could be instruments used by evil people.
Early on in the day, I popped in a new 6-hour VCR tape and taped the news coverage. I left it on all day and still have it. I used to go back and watch it from time to time.
Things change. I don’t watch the VCR tape any more. Our VCR eats any tape you put in it. And our daughter knows what terrorists are. So does our son, who wasn’t even there on September 11, 2001.
I remember telling a friend: I feel, all of a sudden, that my career is relatively meaningless, in light of what just happened. In a good career, I’ll prosecute maybe a few dozen murder cases and bring justice to a few dozen families, I said. What is that compared to the 3000 lives just lost in one day?
Things change. Today, I am preparing to start a murder trial tomorrow. It doesn’t feel meaningless.
Some things stay the same. There were people on September 11, 2001, who wanted to kill me and my family. Who wanted to kill you and your family. Such people still exist. If they could have made today a living hell ten times worse for America than September 11 was, they would rejoice. They would rejoice in our death and misery.
I don’t need a working VCR to remind me of that.