On this anniversary of ‘9/11’ my hope is we’ll pause and reflect on our sense of the event 20 years later. Where were you that morning? Where were you in your life’s journey in September 2001?
That morning I had flown to NYC on the 6 a.m. shuttle to attend a few meetings, something I did frequently. I watched the horrors from an office building three miles north of the towers. That day, three miles meant I was far from the crisis. My kids (then 12 ,10 and 8) were at their schools in Arlington, VA, about 5 miles from the Pentagon. My husband was evacuated from the government building where he worked, and then spent three hours in a parking lot traffic jam. It took a few hours of dialing from flip phones and landlines to confirm with one another we were safe.
The next day I was still in NYC figuring out how to get home. Bill was home with the children and on a call asked me, “What will we do today?” He was atypically at a loss, still stunned. What would be safe? How to best talk to the kids? The realities were still sinking in. I responded, “Maybe go by church, someone will be there.” He’d said maybe this wasn’t a bad idea. We had belonged to our UU congregation in Arlington since our children were young. We went every Sunday. The building, playground and faces would be familiar. While Bill didn’t end up going over to church during the day, he knew he could have. With that reassurance, he figured out some plan.
By that evening, I was home and as a family we went to our congregation’s gathering. I recall sitting in the long pews – the five of us, still stunned. There was quiet, some music, some candles, words from Rev. Michael and others. I was chair of the RE Council and remember checking in on other families and connecting with our brand-new minister, Rev. Linda. We were stunned together. I recall being profoundly grateful to belong to my faith community.
On this anniversary, we hold in love and memory all who died, and were injured and were harmed by ‘9/11’ and we extend our hope for a peaceful and equitable world for all.