It is a day I will never forget, the sound of a low flying plane flying over my apartment, the sound of a bang that I assured myself was just a container being dropped on a loading dock. The hangover. The call to the newsdesk when I walked out onto Seventh Avenue and saw that North Tower was on fire. "Go down there, go Down," the instruction from the assignment editor. The decision not to take the subway but to run, to hear my phone ring and it be my brother, Conor, calling from Ireland, to find out where I was and me trying to joke about yet another reason not to want to fly, and him saying, "lucy, it was not an accident, a second plane has hit the other twin tower," I remember it all as clear as day. The search for a way to make calls when I was there, running along sidestreets and into a bar where everyone was watching it all on CNN while everything was happening right outside. My phone ringing, answering it, and hearing a man's voice, full of tears, crying out the name of the one he loved, telling her how much he loved her, so relieved that she had answered the phone and that she was alive, except that she had not answered the phone, I had... he had come through to the wrong number. And I remember the people jumping and the faces of those around me as we watched them fall.
9/11 changed everything. My friends remember my birthday as the last night of a brighter, easier, happier world. Every year here in New York the families of those who were lost gather down on the site and read the names, write notes, drop beautiful roses in to a small weeping pool. And every year I watch just a little bit and every year I cry. I listen to mothers remember sons, sisters remember brothers, wives remember husbands and small children remember the parents they barely got a chance to know.
Today I know should not be a day for politics but it is hard for me to remember this day without remembering what has come since. The reckless decisions made by an administration bent on a war that never should have been fought. The lives lost there too all as a direct result of those reckless decisions, and not this day, 9/11. The way the world felt about us in the days immediately following this day, (nous sommes tous Americains), and the way they feel about us today.
Today I know should not be a day for politics but it is hard for me to remember this day without remembering what has come since. The abandonment of right, rights, and a regard for human dignity. The embrace of torture, the complete disregard for the Geneva Convention. The unfettered invasion of our privacy.
Today I know should not be a day for politics but it is hard for me not to remember. Homeless Veterans. Dismissed Veterans. Misdiagnosed Veterans. Maltreated Veterans. Forgotten Veterans. Of a war that should never have been fought. Of a war that has no direct correlation to the events of this day. Seven years ago.
Today I know should not be a day for politics. But it is.