I was pregnant on 9/11. I remember how it affected me, hearing all the stories of women whose babies would not meet their daddies. I wanted so badly to be one of the people lining up to give blood, but that’s not something a pregnant woman is allowed to do. I wanted somehow to express to those grieving that I felt their pain and was doing something about it. Instead, I stayed up far too late mesmerized by the horrifying images on the TV screen. And praying.
Months later, when those images had been played and replayed perhaps millions of times, I found I couldn’t look any longer.
A month and a half after 9/11, my husband and I and another couple traveled to Pennsylvania on vacation and took the opportunity to visit New York City. It was my first time there. We stopped to ask directions from a group of police offers, and they actually thanked us for visiting.
We didn’t try to go to ground zero–it felt like intruding on the grief of others, like voyeurism. But from our vantage point atop the Empire State Building, I was stunned to see smoke still billowing up from ground zero. At first I didn’t believe that’s what it was, until one of the uniformed men standing by confirmed it. It was too much to take in. It still is.
But I remember. And I still pray.