Today is September 11th. I did not plan on writing about today. Everyone, every year, tends to reflect on where they were and what they were doing.
For those not old enough to remember the actual day, today is the day that America was attacked in 2001. It was the day that New York City was attacked. It was the day that two passenger domestic flights were flown into the World Trade Center, the North and the South towers.
Currently, I am sitting in the waiting area of the car dealership waiting for a warranty repair to be done. On the television the reading of the names is being aired. As it has been since 2002. I have watched, or listened to this every year since becoming an adult myself. It much harder a few years ago because they had kids who lost their parents up there and it just broke my heart.
As I walked into the waiting area, the only seat available was next to an older woman. I noticed everyone was staring at their phones – one woman appeared to be checking her email. I took my seat and began to get comfortable because I have a wait up to two hours ahead of me. The woman next to me began sighing loudly. I was ready to move to a nearby table when she turned to me and said, “enough is enough”. I just smiled at her. She continued by saying, “there’s 3,000 names”. And then said, “I’m not un-American but….” I didn’t know what to say. I get it. It’s a lot. It’s been 20 years of this. I often wonder when they will stop reading the names. Not because I think they should but because our world has a short attention span these days. I also wonder if the reading of the names is broadcasted outside of NY. Every year I put it out to the internet, asking if other people see the Reading of the Names… I don’t think I’ve ever received an answer.
I think I will always write about 9/11. Thankfully I never lost anyone that day, or due to the attacks. But I live just two hours outside of NYC. Both of my parents worked in Manhattan for some time. I have family that still lives down there.
Being so close to the city, having it in my backyard I think it is harder for us to forget. I can’t speak for those that live on the other side of the state (yes, NY is more than just the City) but for those of us that surround the city – we will never forget.
And to the woman sitting next to me who continues to sigh. Especially when a child is up there talking about an Aunt or grandparent they never met… I hope you never encounter this kind of pain these people have had to deal with for almost 20 years.
As long as the names of the innocent lives lost are read… the very least I can do is give those people the respect and listen to them.