This is updated from a post I wrote on September 11, 2006, called "Random 9/11 Memories."
Watching the news unfold on one TV, while 2-year-old Jack innocently watched Sesame Street on another. I was overwhelmed by the feeling that he would be growing up in a very different world than I had.
Doing business over the phone with people all over the country in the days that followed was charged with this sort of electricity. We rarely talked about what happened, but the mutual grief and shock seemed palpable over the wire. The customer service rep at one small publisher headquartered just outside New York City was so thankful that I called to place an order a day or two after 9/11. They were terrified that their business would come to a grinding halt.
Waking up on 9/12 and seeing the flags that the local boy scout troop placed in each of our yards. My emotional reaction caught me off guard--I'd never really put much thought into what the flag meant to me. What it meant to me that day was that we were all in this together and that we would all pull through it together.
The flags are flying in our yards again today. Even though the veneer of our unity has cracked over the past eleven years, I want to believe that at the core of it we'll all move forward together and triumph in the ways that truly matter. I want to believe that. But honestly? I am not as hopeful as I was in 2006. The cracks seem pretty deep these days.