Each year, around this time, I always reflect and remember the lives lost and how this had changed my life.
This year will be the 20th anniversary of that fateful day.
Memory of that day is still as clear today as it was then.
As native New Yorkers (my husband’s from near Buffalo, and I grew up near Lake Placid), my husband and I made the decision in April 2001 to leave our home state for Raleigh, North Carolina.
In July, I flew back to New York for my sister’s wedding. This would be the last time I’d fly until fall of 2018.
I was at work that morning of September 11th, 2001 as a teller for a local bank located not far from RDU (Raleigh-Durham International Airport).
The branch was situated near downtown Raleigh and in the vicinity of a major hospital which meant we’d get crazy busy.
On that day, though, I had only two customers.
The sky was silent for about a week since all planes were grounded.
My brother who worked as a reservation specialist at the Cary branch for the American Airlines sat near the person who took the call from flight attendant Betty Ong of Flight 11.
My husband, former Army and Navy soldier, lost a few friends from both the Towers and Pentagon.
For days afterward, my emotions were in a jumble as I would be sad one moment and enraged the next.
I felt I lost something that day, but for a long time I couldn’t figure out what that was.
The closest I can identify this loss was the sense of losing one’s innocence.
In the midst of all the craziness of that day, I witnessed how this country came together as one people united through the shared pain and loss.
We had a common enemy which attacked our country and inevitably changed our whole way of life.
About ten years ago, upon reflecting on this somber day, I wrote a poem which I created a video called, The Bench.