9/11 - Two Years On

Thursday, September 11, 2003

I must confess that this time of year holds a special sadness for me. On September 8, 2001, my father passed away. I remember that night as being unseasonably warm and the hospital as being uncomfortably cold. As I stepped through the automatic doors into the waft of hot autumn air, I thought to myself that life couldn't get much worse.

Less than 72 hours later, this old life proved me wrong.

On the morning of 9/11 I was at home preparing for yet another day of greeting family and friends at the funeral home. Already in a surreal state of mind, when my brother-in-law called from his cell phone, informing me that "Howard Stern just said that a plane hit a building in New York City! Turn on the TV!!", I was not prepared in any way, shape or form for what I saw.

Like everyone else, I thought a million things. In my bleary state, I turned on the TV and there, in full colour, was obviously not a little recreational plane that had buzzed the top of a skyscaper, but a jetliner that had plunged directly into one of the World Trade Centre towers. I had never (and since have never) experienced the sense of complete and utter numbness that I felt at that moment. When the second plane hit, the numbness, unbelievably, deepened. Reports from all over poured in about bombs in Washington, planes missing, the Pentagon exploding...what in the hell was happening? As a child, for some unexplained reason, I always feared "THE END OF THE WORLD". And here it was.

So, for me, the events of that week are melded with and filtered through the memories of Dad's funeral. He was buried the day after. Throughout his 73 years, his eyes had already witnessed some of humankind's lowest moments. The selfish part of me wished that he were alive so we could discuss it, dissect it. A larger part of me is thankful that he didn't have to witness it.

Everyone has memories of that day, of that week. If you feel that you can, I'd like to hear some of yours. Post your reflections in the "Opinions" submissions page, and we'll get them posted.

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