The Stories of September 11
At my old high school, there’s a white porcelain water fountain next to the door that leads to the room where I learned to type. Actually, I haven’t been down that hallway in a good, long while (like over a decade), so the water fountain may not even be there any more.
Next to that water fountain is where my mom, a high school student herself, learned of Kennedy’s assassination. That moment is forever etched in the memory of those who were around when it happened.
Far as I can tell, there was not another moment that marks time for a nation until September 11, 2001. Everyone over the age of five or six has to remember, if nothing else, the sadness and confusion during those moments. The stories abound and are usually sparked with, “Where were you when you first heard?”
With my work in Narrative, participants in the Narrative Nursing workshop are sometimes a bit slow to open up, thinking of themselves as something other than storytellers. Yet, everyone can tell the story of where they were, what they were doing and, quite possibly, every other move they made during that day. Stories abound. Whether you think of yourself as a storyteller, if you can sort out the details you remember from 13 years ago, maybe comment on this post. And of course, let us never forget….
P.S. Here’s a quick snapshot of my memories…The night before, I finished work on the first edition of, “After This…” I decided to take that Tuesday off as a reward for finishing the manuscript. I was sitting on the couch in my living room, playing a Steve Earle song on guitar when the phone rang. The friend on the other end said, “Are you watching TV?” I couldn’t believe what she was telling me, so I promised I’d flip on the tube and see what was up. With no visual reference to the tragedy unfolding before me, it was probably harder for it to sink in. After a few minutes, Peter Jennings came on and, as the second tower fell, said, “Good God.” THAT is when it sank in just how horrific this really was. Those are moments I will remember forever.