Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September

The month of September will never come around again without thoughts of 9/11. Here we are again -- it certainly doesn't feel like it has been ten years. Everyone can remember where they were, and how they heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center. That Tuesday morning will forever remain the day that changed the sense of security we feel in this country.

Having grown up in NYC, I remember feeling very stranded out here in Los Angeles. All my friends and family were still in NY. When I heard the news I immediately went through all of my friends who worked near the area. I started to make calls but no one was answering. Then I thought of my dad, who sometimes purchased merchandise downtown near the towers, and I kept calling and calling. The circuits were busy. It would be hours until I heard that he, and everyone else I had concerns about, was safe.

My friend Melissa comes from a long line of firefighters in her family. It wasn't until a few weeks after 9/11 that I got a call from my mother telling me that Jonathan had been killed. Her brother, Jonathan, was all I could think about when I was sixteen. I had a crazy crush on him and spent all my free time at their house hanging out with Melissa in hopes that he would notice me. When I learned that he got his seventeen year old girlfriend pregnant, I knew he was out of my league. He and his girlfriend expanded their family and went on to have two sons -- all before he was 30. On September 11th, along with his Squad 288, Jonathan entered the World Trade Center, and never came out.

From the moment I learned he died, September 11th became personal, and will remain about Jonathan for me. A lot of people probably questioned him and his girlfriend having children so young, but now I think it was meant to be that way. Albeit briefly, he got to know his children and that is gift that some people don't ever get. In order to really see that ten full years have past I need only to look at the children now that are 11 years old, and talking about the parents they never got to meet. Jonathan's younger son was probably too young to really remember him, but his family has done so much to keep the memory of him strong. Now that I have a child of my own I look at that day so differently. If it were to happen now, there isn't anything I wouldn't do to protect my child.

Although there were so many heroes of that day, and we saw real human kindness towards one another, the event itself shows that unfortunately, not all of humanity feels that way.

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