Today, I remember.
I remember those who lost their lives, those who rushed in to help, and those forever affected by that horrible day.
I went to work like normal as many others did that day. At the time, I commuted to Norwalk, CT everyday, which is not all that far from NYC. All of my co-workers were on a plane that morning except for two of us in the office. Me and my great friend Laurie. I am still thankful we had each other to get through that difficult day. As I said, our fellow co-workers were all traveling that day. Some to Washington, DC and others to Pennsylvania. Laurie and I were glued to a little radio in the office set to NPR. We didn't have any visual of the situation - no TV and mediocre web service. As the news came in of planes going down, our hearts sank. Those were the exact places our co-workers were going. Families of our co-workers continually called to ask if everyone was okay. We didn't know. It was so hard.
We finally heard from everyone and thankfully they were all unaffected. At that exact time though, I remember reflecting on what was really important. My mind also went to the families of people that still didn't know the status of their loved ones or worse, the ones that had already heard the dreadful news.
Living here in Connecticut, so close to the devastation, has been both horror and a honor. For months after the attacks, I was constantly reminded of the tragedy when I drove up I-95 home each night. Lines and lines of trucks carrying wreckage out of the city. There were crushed cars and parts of buildings all covered in that now infamous ash.
On the flip side, I was honored when I got to work on Connecticut's 9-11 Memorial Project. I was a landscape architect at the time and our firm was selected as the designers. It is located at the Sherwood Island State Park overlooking Long Island Sound. On a clear day, much like September 11, 2001, you can see the Manhattan skyline. We designed the memorial around the exact "point" where park staff and visitors watched the plumes of smoke billowing from the twin towers. The park was also where Connecticut's staging area of rescue/resource assistance was located after the attacks. So many families from Connecticut were affected. Due to close proximity, several people commute into NYC everyday. We completed the project by the first anniversary of September 11 and I was able to attend the Governor's dedication along with all the families of lost loved ones. A truly humbling experience. 152 victims are honored at the memorial.
Today, I remember. Today, WE remember. We shall never forget!