I believe that September 11 should be a national day of observance. So much changed for the citizens of the United States on that day. So many innocent lives have been lost since that sunny Tuesday morning. Not everything that happened after that has been a bad thing - Americans have needed to become aware of the perceptions of other nations, the experiences of other cultures. The Course in Miracles says you can either learn through joy or through pain. Obviously, these lessons were learned through pain. A lot of pain.
I remember that day, I remember the next few days. I felt numb and frightened because I had always believed that the world was safe with people like my father protecting us and protecting countries and people who needed that protection. Obviously a narrow view of the world, but something that I had grown up believing and took for granted. As the days passed, as I couldn't rip myself away from the horrific images, I realized that our sense of safety had been a part of that lack of understanding about the world.
I'm not trying to be political, at all. I just remember how it felt. I couldn't turn it off. I couldn't get enough information. When I went to NYC in June of 2002, the air still smelled strange, there was still dust on the streets near the WTC area. I walked from the Juilliard dorms down to the storefront where the "Here is New York: A Democracy of Photos" display was being kept. I needed that walk to ground me and help me to understand what had occurred there.
Music got me through the whole experience. It was strange, really. At the time, Napster hadn't been found to be illegal yet and I had downloaded some tribute music - people adding audio to different songs they felt were representative of their feelings. I would turn on the music at the computer and just cry. Sometimes I was working, sometimes I would just play solitaire. And cry. For the people who were lost, who were affected, who would die in the conflicts in the future that we attribute to the events of September 11.
One of my good friends was actually on the subway in the Wall Street/WTC area on September 11 and has been greatly affected by the tragedy. I know it has been difficult for her. I am sending her (and all those affected) love and peace on this day, 8 years later.