The crazy thing to me about my memories of 9-11 are not the memories themselves; it’s the clarity of those memories. I can easily tell you more about that day twelve years ago than I could tell you about last Tuesday.
I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the first plane hitting.
I remember a phone message from a friend telling me to turn on the news immediately.
I remember the feeling of helplessness when I couldn’t reach Josh’s family in New York, worrying if my father-in-law had been in the city that day.
I remember crying as I watched the second tower fall on television.
I remember being at work and hearing that only “essential personnel” would be allowed back on the base, and I remember having no clue where my babies and I would sleep that night if we weren’t allowed into base housing.
I remember taking my break at work and making two calls: one to a friend to see if the girls and I could sleep on her couch and one to my bank to see how much money I had to buy them clothes, diapers, and formula for a night or two or three.
I remember waiting in line for almost four hours at two different gates and having to prove my identity to get through the gate to get home.
I remember watching Aubrey play on the floor with one eye while I watched replays of the horror on TV with the other.
I remember weeks of having my car searched every single time I re-entered the base.
I remember thinking “he’s safer under the water than anywhere else” and realizing that because we lived on base, he was probably safer than us.
I remember weeks of television coverage, of pride in my fellow Americans, of hope and love, and of heartbreak.