Remembering

First waking thought...

Eleven years.

Today, I'm remembering that morning and the days and years after.

I'm remembering holding my six month pregnant belly... the look of horror on my husband's face as he turned away from the news coverage to me... looking at my daughters and fearing for their future. For all of our futures.

I'm remembering news crews at work the next day. A former Vice President of our company was on Flight 93. He helped take back the plane that crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA. I didn't know him, but I think of him and his family every year. Tom Burnett. 38. Husband and father. Tom had called his wife that morning and told her,

"We're all going to die, but three of us are going to do something."

I'm remembering how we all came out from our homes to be neighbors to each other after the attacks... the candle light vigils that made way over the months to block parties... sitting around and getting to know each other. The guy from that one church. The sweet old lady at the end of the block. The motorcycle guys. The Lieutenant's wife, proud that her husband was serving. The kids that became best friends for life. All strangers once. All neighbors after.

I'm remembering, years later, the first time I visited NY. I was on a media tour for a beverage company. We had been eating and drinking for days. But the mood immediately turned somber as our group drove past Ground Zero. There were many countries represented on our tour bus, just as there were in the World Trade Center Towers and on the planes that day. We were all silent as we took in the site. It felt like the air had been sucked from the earth. The footage on TV was terrifying, but it never hit me how massive the 9/11 tragedy was until then.

I'm remembering all of it. Those first moments. The days and months after.

And how our lives changed forever eleven years ago today.