Monday, September 11, 2006
Five Years Later
I woke up this morning and turned on the TV. MSNBC was airing their original broadcast from five years ago today. For most of the morning, I was glued to my TV, remembering all the emotion and uncertainty of that day.
Five years ago, I worked at Family Christian Stores. A music rep was presenting new titles to us that morning. We had just settled in, enjoyed Panera bagels and were about to get started when someone poked their head into the conference room to tell us a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember some discussion about what kind of plane it might be--probably a Piper Cub or some other small plane. We went back to our business.
A few minutes later, someone else popped in. Just after that, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker--none of us even knew our building had one!--to take a moment to pray for those involved. We then went to the exercise room, joining about 30 others who were already watching the live news on the big screen TV. We were just getting a grip on what was happening when we saw the second plane crash into the other tower.
I remember a conversation with another single friend in the days after 9/11. He told me that the terrorist attack made him rethink his singleness. I think a lot of single thought that day about who they would call if they were in that situation. For many of my friends, 9/11 intensified our longing to belong to someone, to have an assumed emergency contact. After 9/11, I became more willing to take risks in my relationships, to risk loving and being loved.
Today, after learning that proceeds from 9/11 movies are being used to help raise funds for memorials, I decided to catch a matinee of World Trade Center. After a morning of mourning, I was encouraged by this story with a happy ending. Nicolas Cage plays John McLoughlin, one of two Port Authority officers rescued from the rubble. The movie does an engaging job of showing how John reflected on his life, and especially marriage. I imagine 9/11 gave a lot of couples a renewed appreciation for the ones they committed to love for life, at least I hope so.
The theatre was nearly empty. There were only five of us there. One elderly couple. One middle-aged couple. And me. At the end, I swear my nostrils were filled with smoke and debris. With all the change and uncertainty in my life these days, this day, I'm grateful for life.