Writing more than 140 characters has become the challenge of my life lately. When I'm not able to max out that count, thoughts go to here: http://twitter.com/nicoletankovich Come listen to me there.
My personal history of 9/11 isn't about planes or deaths or ideals. It's about friends. I was blessed to have friends (sisters) that processed the days events as we watched them live on TV. A friend (my roommate) that admonished me to leave campus when they evacuated us (for no reason really, we were in AKRON). Another friend that insisted I come home with her. Friends I watched leap into action, eager to find some way to help, even in Ohio.
I don't have any other events to which to compare it. My parents had JFK's shooting, grandparents had Pearl Harbor, still others had even more varied and less public events. All I know is my generation continues to define itself as adults by 9/11.
We feel old when we realize there are people alive today that were not then. We feel old when we remember others younger than us remember it only as children do - spurts and fits and confused patches of information, stitched together into a quilt of something important that happened that wasn't quite personal.
Some of our peers were driven to volunteer. Others collected supplies for search and clean up teams. Some of us lost loved ones or have a co-worker that missed a train or had something else happen to keep them at a distance.
September 11, 2001 was terrifying for many reasons. For people like me, who were only tangentially connected to them, the events of that day caused a pause in an otherwise busy and all-too-introspective life. I realized we were part of something larger -- of a country, of a world, and that not everyone liked us or our way of life. It made all of that very real and very scary.
I don't have a soapbox today. Just go hug your kids a little tighter and pause to appreciate your life as it is today. And know that it could all change in an instant - so love it while you have it.