As most folks do, I remember where I was when I heard the news back in September 2001. I was in our Utica office, to do some training and observations. I had some down time and was trying to locate a phone number for someone in our Rochester office, but couldn’t get logged into my computer, so I reached out to a coworker in the CNY office for help. The friend I called has an irreverent streak a mile wide, and a great sense of humor, so when she told me we were under attack, I assumed she was talking about at work, by her boss, or by someone in her training class having a bad day. It didn’t occur to me that we had been attacked by terrorists.
With disbelief, I headed off to the cafeteria to check the news, and had only been watching for a couple of minutes when the first tower collapsed. Shocked, stunned, amazed, and horrified are but a few of the emotions I felt in that instant. I remember one of the Utica employees had a family member who worked at the WTC, and her friends were distraught with the not knowing, something that was repeated hundres of times over that day. For all of us, even those who didn’t lose someone, something was lost that day.
And now, tomorrow as we have every year since 2001, we’ll be reminded of a horrible day in our country’s history, through the moments of silence, prayer vigils, candlelight ceremonies, and other methods of remembrance for the anniversary. Interviews with survivors, photos of those lost, or pictures of the now emptier New York skyline, the burning Pentagon, or the field where the last plane went down are likely to fill the papers and TV news.
Sadly, September 11th will always be known as a dark day, with only a glimmer of our American spirit showing through, in the rushing of the hijackers of flight 93. But here’s the thing – while we certainly should not forget what happened in 2001, that’s not the ONLY thing that happened on that day, and it’s not all bad. Here’s just a brief list of things that can be celebrated, treasured, remembered, discussed, or in some way recognized on September 11th. There’s no real rhyme or reason for what made the list, it’s just things I found interesting after noodling around on the Web, with some added commentary.
- 1297 Scots, led by William Wallace defeat the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, proving that real men do wear kilts.
- 1773 Benjamin Franklin writes "There never was a good war or bad peace."
- 1792 The Hope Diamond is stolen along with other crown jewels when six men broke into the house used to store the jewels. Apparently
Let’s return September 11th to them, and to everyone else who should be allowed to remember this day for something other than a tragedy.