Snapshot of 9/11

I didn’t intend to dwell on 9/11 long enough to let the tears form. I was just planning on writing a few words and linking to last year’s post about Amy O’Doherty, who was one of the victims in the fall of the World Trade Center. All I needed to do was find a good picture on Flickr, get in and get out.

But something happened as I browsed through picture after picture of towers of light, towers on fire, firefighters and policemen, flags, makeshift memorials on fences and marble memorials in cities from coast to coast. Images floated through my mind of the type of picture I wanted to find.

It would memorialize with dignity those who were killed — not just in New York, but at the Pentagon and on Flight 93. It would acknowledge both the heroes who died doing their jobs and the regular people who helped strangers in ways large and small. It would remind us of the amazing feeling of the whole country being unified in our resolve to make sure this never happens again, coming together to strengthen each other and defeat the enemy. It would recall the unfettered pride we felt in being Americans, with flags flying from our porches, our cars and our lapels. I miss that, and it makes me sad.

I looked for a picture that would represent the rawness I still feel when I remember that day, sitting in front of the TV in disbelief with my baby on my lap as I watched the tower collapse again and again in slow motion. And the fearful certainty that another terrorist strike would happen any day, this time possibly closer to home. I also wanted a picture that would give us hope that the world will eventually become a better, safer place for our children to grow up.

I looked through hundreds of pictures. I couldn’t find the right one. So my words will have to do.

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