Every year, on this day, we remember.
Some of us take a moment of silence and go on with our day. Others converge on the site of all the horror and remember by reading names of the dead — 2,977 of them, all told.
Some of us, I’m sure, no longer care enough to remember, or don’t even want to remember, or are too young to recall the day that changed life as we knew it — Sept. 11, 2001.
I’ve made it a tradition to watch MSNBC because every year they re-run the live coverage of what happened that day after the terrorists flew the first plane into the World Trade Center.
It was breaking news, as-it-happened journalism, and it’s how I watched all the events unfold on that fateful day.
Thanks be to God, or whatever higher powers are out there, I didn’t know anybody personally that died that day.
I was at work at Foster’s Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H., on the morning of September 11, in 2001 — the only time in the history of my journalism career that being an afternoon paper actually paid off in terms of getting the most recent news in the paper.
I remember the AP alert coming through. I remember jumping on the World Wide Web for more information. I remember standing in the main portion of the newsroom when the second jet flew in to the second tower and that’s when everybody knew that this was no accident.
The United States of American was under attack.
People have called 9/11 my generation’s Pearl Harbor. They have said, just like the day JFK was shot and killed, that everybody remembers where they were when they heard the news.
Since moving to Connecticut nine years ago, living and working just 40 miles outside of New York City, the after-effects of 9/11 are still felt all these years later.
I feel lucky to live where I do. I feel lucky that I get to go into New York City, a place I had only visited once in the first 30 years of my life, as often as I have.
Now, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had the honor to go into that great city — to Madison Square Garden, to any of the ballparks, to Times Square, to the museums and theaters, to Central Park.
That’s why on this day, every year, instead of hearing the roll call of the names of the dead and watching the tears of those left behind, I put my television on MSNBC and I remember.
It reminds me of how I felt that day, 14 years ago. From the shock to the anger to the sadness as both towers crumbled before my very eyes.
It reminds me of why it takes so long to get on a plane and fly across this land of the free. It reminds me of why I have to be patted down before I enter a sporting event. It reminds me of how much some people hate us.
It reminds me of why there are young people in far away lands giving their lives for so we can do everything we do here at home.
I’ll never forget 9/11 — most of us never will.
Thus, on this day, every year, I remember by reliving it the way I lived it the day it happened.