September 11, 2001 changed America. Even after seventeen years, I can’t shake this dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Every time I hear a plane fly overhead. Or, enter a high-rise building. Or, see a fireman walking past me on the street. Certain images and sounds would transport me back to that fateful day.
In fact, I went nearly seventeen years of not stepping foot on an airplane. Until July of this year.
I was born in New York State, and spent the first 30 years of my life there just five hours north of where the World Trade Center once sat. I had just moved to Raleigh, NC (May 2001) when this horrific day took place.
As the events of 9/11 continued to haunt me, I decided to write a micro-story and then turn it into a microfilm, The Bench. In a way, I did this to try and purge some of these feelings of intense sadness and of the anger over what we all had lost that day. I wrote this from a fireman’s perspective drawing upon a specific story I saw on one of the many 9/11 documentaries.
I then realized I could not remember the name of this fireman.
For the next two days, I hunted online for his name as it’d been several years since I last saw his story.
Finally, I found it in this article: Husband and Wife Survive World Trade Center On 9/11
Someone also took the iconic picture of him sitting on the bench when he couldn’t find his wife anywhere—
Although his story had a happier ending, I wrote my story with the thought of so many others who’d lost their loved ones. And even worst, never to have their remains found.
So, let us never forget the sacrifices of all those who died on that day, and continue their legacies into our future generations.