The day dawned, blue cloudless skies, a summer day in the midst of fall. The alarm rang, I jumped in the shower and returned to my room. It was my second Tuesday of college. My roommate left early that morning, and so for the first time in the week I’d been there, I turned on the radio. It was a comforting ritual I had begun in junior high school, but this morning was different. I couldn’t make sense of with the DJ was saying, there was no music, and no fun, only seriousness and confusion. I took a call from my roommate’s father: he was flying that morning. He did not allude to the tragedy that was unfolding, but he said it was important that my roommate know he had called. I dressed quickly, and ran up the stairs to a friend’s room. She had a television, and on it we watched both towers collapse before I headed to my 11:00 class. It was September 11, 2001
The day dawned, blue cloudless skies, a summer day in the midst of fall. On the television I listened to moments of silence, as names were read out. Nearly 3,000. Music interspersed between the heartbreaking scenes of children, too young to have witnessed the events of that day but who have been forever scarred read the names of their parents, forever gone from their lives. I showered, I dressed and I ate, but not quickly, I savored the moments because today, of all days, I am grateful just to be alive. I listened as Yo-Yo Ma played Bach, and James Taylor played tunes of his own and I noticed as the tears welled up in my own eyes. I watched the towers fall again, and I wished for just one moment that it had all been a bad dream. I remembered how before that day, the country knew relative peace, knew nothing of the multiple tours of duty our soldiers would be called to serve. I realized how normal war has become a decade into the fight. I left the house to drive to church, to worship an unchanging God, and to pray for those lives that have changed. It was September 11, 2011.