9/11/01 – Where were you?

11 09 2009

9-11-01 FootageRemembering tragedy can be a good thing.  It gives shape and depth to our lives, even when remembering is difficult for us to do.  So many things, both big and small, change the flow and course of our own lives.  Some moments rise to the level of shared human events.  For U.S. citizens,  9/11/01 is one of those days that we all have in common.  Answering the question, “Where were you on ….” places each of us in the midst of this history of our country and of the world. It gives us connection and binds us together.

One of the first major shared events I remember was the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981-I’d just come home from high school, the TV was on and the President had just been shot.  As a sophomore in high school, this moment seized me as I tried to understand just what that would mean and why someone would try to do such a thing.

January 28, 1986, 11:39 a.m. EST was another event that emerges from my memory.  I was in Chicago at college, New Testament Greek class in particular, and we had taken time out to watch the launch of the space shuttle Challenger.  Little did we know that we would spend time pondering the brevity of our own lives in light of what started as a hope for the future in space exploration.

9/11/01 is also one of those times of memory.  I was at work.  I remember the renovations going on in my office and the return of a former employee as my new Network Administrator.  It was a day that turned from light to dark.  It was a terrible event for the families who experienced loss and devastation.  It was a sobering event for all of us as Americans.  A bubble of naivete’ burst and the subtle sense of being an invincible American disappeared from my psyche.

And so our shared memories go…whether decades removed or recent events, they force us to reflect together on what’s happened in the history of our own lives.  So as you hear the stories from this day, reflect on where you were 9/11/01 and let others know your story (or share your comments below).  It may just bring you a little closer to yourself and others as well.

UPDATE 9/12/09, 9:08PM – The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog helps us by Remembering September 11th … in pictures




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