10 years ago…

9/11 was my generation’s first real historical moment. People will always remember where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy was assassinated, when Man walked on the Moon. I will always remember that day in 2001. I lived in Montreal with my now husband, then boyfriend, but I had a class in Quebec City on Monday morning. So I would go down to Quebec Sunday night, sleep at my sister’s, go to class on Monday and work there Monday and Tuesday at a research project at the university. Then on Tuesday afternoon I would go back to Montreal. It was complicated but it worked, I knew it was only for one semester and the job payed well.

That Tuesday morning, I was in that research room working at a computer. A professor burst into the room to tell the professor I was working with (conveniently, my dad) that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. My dad turned on the radio in his office, listened to it for a while and then left to go watch from home. I couldn’t leave because I had to work a pre-determined number of hours and I only had that day to do it. So I was trying to get to news organizations web sites to find out more about what happened, but everything was so busy you couldn’t load their pages. So I kept working until lunch time, as people brought me pieces of news here and there. Then I had lunch at one of those campus cafes that had a TV on. And that’s where I saw, for the first time, the towers collapsing. By then I had heard about it, but I couldn’t really believe it. It had to be a mistake. At lunch, I saw them with my own eyes, repeat after repeat, and I believed.

Zak was home in Montreal, he was not working, and he rarely had the TV on, yet for some unexplained reason, he turned it on that morning. We had not payed for more than basic cable, but they had not disconnected us from the previous tenant’s extended cable, so he watched CNN and saw the second tower get hit live. At that time, the wildest numbers were being thrown around. 10 000 people work there, they must all be dead. We thought nobody would have had time to run out. We were wrong, but of course, the number of victims was still very high. We also had this feeling that we were at war, that planes would hit everywhere, that they were probably coming for us, too. That night I went home, and for the next few days the TV stayed on and I go more and more discouraged. I cried, listening to stories of people losing loved ones, unborn children becoming orphans, and so on. But there were messages of hope, too. And I cried for those who gave their lives to save people that morning, the people who stayed behind with friends who were wheel-chair bound, the firefighters who went in and up as everyone else was leaving. I cried and I cried again.

But at some point life takes back its rights. We get used to those horrific images and without forgetting them, we stop thinking about them constantly. 10 years later, I am about to celebrate my daughter’s first birthday, another proof that life always wins. She will hopefully be here long after I am gone, maybe trying to make the world a better place. The unborn children who became orphans are 10 years old already, that would put them in grade 5. Time flies. And life wins. Always.

My thoughts today go to everyone whose life was personally affected by the events. Even though I’m sure their life will never be the same again, I hope they have found peace and love 10 years later. I hope they can be happy again.

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