The day became more meaningful to me a few months later when I visited a friend in DC. The Smithsonian had an exhibit about 9/11. It included pieces of the buildings, photographs, video, and stories. The one I remember the most was the handle of a window washer squeegee. Believe it or not, I just found an article online that explains it so much better than I could:
Window washer Jan Demczur was on a break when the first hijacked plane slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, trapping him and five other men in an elevator on the 50th floor. When they managed to pry open the elevator doors, instead of an exit they found a wall. Demczur used the blade of his squeegee to carve a hole through which they could crawl. It took 45 minutes, then the men raced down a stairwell to safety before the tower collapsed.And then there was the room at the exhibit I couldn't go in; I was already in tears. I could hear it from the rest of the exhibit but tried to block it out. Bits of it still haunt me. The room I skipped contained voicemail recordings from people who knew they weren't going to make it out, calling their loved ones from any phone they could find. It is still heartrending to think about.
I'm not sure how to end this, these are just my thoughts today. I guess I should go call the people I love and tell them I love them and then give thanks I was lucky enough to be so untouched by a national tragedy.