Those previous two moment would likely have been lost to time had they not been seared into my memory by the next, which came about an hour later and it was a moment that would flash burn backwards in time. I was sitting in my bosses office when her phone rang. She answered and I watched as our generations last bit of innocence was wiped away from her face as she and then I would learn about what was happening in New York on that, far from perfect September morning.
The previous day, Andrea was walking home because she had spent the day at a conference in the World Trade Center. The only reason she wasn’t there on the 11th was because her company didn’t want to spend the money for the full conference. Even had she gone to the conference that morning, she would have likely been safe. So, I have often wondered why that memory, the one of her walking home, is the one that I most closely relate with the attacks of September 11. It’s only been recently, 10 years later, that I think I figured it out.
My wife returned safely from the World Trade Center, unharmed. Sure, it was about 14 hours before the attacks began, but my mind goes to all the empty sidewalks the next day. All the husbands and wives and children and mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters who looked down the sidewalk hoping that their loved one would come from around the corner and smile at them as they came home from the World Trade Center, and never did.