The 9/11 report


If you’re like me, you have a rather mundane story about where you were when you first heard about the attacks on Sept. 11.

Does it even really matter?

For the record, I was in my apartment, just waking up, and naked.

Yeah, I know.

I was doing my morning e-mail check, when I got an odd breaking news bulletin. “Second plane crashes into World Trade Center.”


Then, my phone rings, and my girlfriend tells me to turn on the TV. I stare, not quite comprehending it all, but transfixed.

I snap out of it and rush to the office, because I work at a newspaper, and all of a sudden, it’s the biggest news day ever.

Today, five years later, we mark the anniversary of lives lost, and the turbulent times our country has faced since. I don’t like to think about that day, because if I think too hard, I’ll cry.


This morning, my colleagues gathered for an impromptu birthday celebration (the honoree’s actual birthday was Sunday). One person was missing, leaving the hospital after chemo. We talked about her, and how to help her out without causing too much of a fuss. And we talked about where we were on 9/11.

At the Red Cross this afternoon, more donors than usual popped in to drop a pint. Coincidentally, this was my “regular” visit after the mandatory eight-week rest.

The TV news showed the ceremonies around town and the nation. One donor said all the hoopla was exactly what the terrorists wanted, and that it would’ve been better to spend five minutes on it and move on.

I wonder if she would’ve felt the same had she lost her husband or child that day.

But this 9/11, the one that takes place five years after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, or 45 feet into the earth in Pennsylvania, or into the side of the Pentagon, was marked by routine. It didn’t come up much, if at all, in conversation.

At day’s end, I met with friends to plot our upcoming film festival happenings. We did what we always do.

Maybe for that one day, it was taken from us. But today, we took it back.

  • 9/12/01 | Our prayers can provide comfort for wounded nation
  • 9/9/02 | World kept turning after 9-11 — for better or for worse
  • 9/10/02 | Defining 9-11 on our own terms: the lexicon of terror
  • 9/11/02 | Memories of 9/11 destined for tacky future

About this entry