It's hard to believe that it's been 11 years since that fateful Tuesday morning. The day still remains so vivid in my head and I can only imagine how much more so it feels that way for those who experienced tragic loss on that day. Having lived about 50 minutes from NYC back in 2001, it felt so much closer to me. I remember traveling down to New Jersey for project management training for my company just 2 days later. As I drove over the Tappan Zee Bridge, I could see the New York skyline from afar, yet it was close enough to make out the distinct cloud that hung like a death shroud over the place where the two towers had once stood.
My mom's birthday was September 11th. She was not particularly fond of the fact that her birthday shared the date with one of the greatest tragedies to ever befall the United States. I will always remember her birthday with a mix of emotion as I recall joy and tragedy in the same day.
Memorable dates are fascinating. Personally, I am a "numbers guy" so I remember all kinds of dates and numbers. I will forever remember my phone number from my house growing up. I even remember my phone number during my sophomore through senior years of college as it remained the same. I remember the phone number I had after college as well. So much useless information that seems to be taking up space.
Yet, there is so much value to remembering. I have said it before, but it's worth repeating, if we do not remember, we are destined to forget, which generally results in our repeating of things, oftentimes mistakes. Remembering is a valuable resource and I try to do it often.
I remember by writing. I can express my thoughts and feelings so much better when I write them down. I can recount my experiences in written form so that I can pass those experiences on to my children. Some of them are funny and they make us laugh, others are painful and might better be left untold, or at the very least, seldom recounted. But even the painful experiences and memories serve to mold me into who I am.
Our country is not the same since September 11, 2001. To be honest, I think that many people forget until something forces them to remember. I can't forget, part of that is due to Mom's birthday, but part of it is that it hit so close to home and yet I somehow remained unscathed by the pain that so many experienced that day. I remember and I honor those who grieve, even 11 years later.
What is it that you need to remember? Take a moment today to recount it and express your thanks. Make that phone call. Write that note. Say that prayer. Do whatever it is that you need to do to let someone know today that you remember.