I turned on the radio this morning. They were talking about the terrible day five years ago. Talking to people about where they were, what they were doing. My own memories came back.
I remember hearing the news driving into work. Thinking how could any pilot fly into a building, what kind of mechanical difficulties could possibly result in that. I remember seeing the second plane hit, on the TV at the coffee shop.
And I remember driving home from work. Everything was surreal. It felt like I was the only one on the road. The sign over the highway read something to the effect of "all flights cancelled until further notice."
It sent shivers down my spine. Perhaps it was a bit morbid, but I pulled the car over to take a picture. The company I worked for at the time manufactured the sign.
A police officer pulled over behind me. He asked if I was alright.
The tears streaming down my cheeks gave me away. But I said I was fine. And tried to explain away my strange need to permanently capture the horrific message on the sign.
That morning the office was full of frightening news. Our sales guys were to meet in the World Trade Center that morning.
And my family was panicking. My brother was supposed to be flying from Boston to LA, but nobody knew what time, or what flight.
And my good friend from college and his parents are all pilots. There were e-mails flying around worrying about their safety.
No one could find anyone. For hours.
Finally the news trickled in. The sales guys got an e-mail sent in, luckily they were running late for their meeting, and were on their way when the first plane hit.
My brother called to let us all know that he was supposed to be on a later flight. He and a colleague were renting a car, instead. And my pilot friend finally sent out a note that he and his parents were all safe.
I felt guilty for feeling relief that the people I know were safe. As if people might think I didn't think it was as horrific, since it didn't directly effect me.
Last year, this day felt more reverent (and I was much more eloquent). Today feels like any other day. And it shouldn't. But I don't know how it should be different.
Perhaps just remembering is enough. Remembering the lost souls. Remembering the feeling of five years ago. Remembering those whose lives were and are changed forever.