10 Years Ago Today

I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom, frantically styling my hair so I wouldn't be late to early morning choir sectionals, and listening to Z100 on the radio.  A rare news break from the obnoxious-excuse-for-comedy-I-used-to-adore informed me that a plane had just crashed into the World Trader Center in New Year.  Being 15 and naive, I assumed this report was referring to tiny, one-seater planes ineffectively ramming themselves into the side of a building I honestly knew nothing about.  Plus, that was in New York and I was in Oregon.  No big deal, right?

During sectionals, I noticed a lot of the older students talking about it.  Then, an announcement came over the PA system calling all staff to the library for an emergency staff meeting.  I grew slightly more suspicious, but still remained rather oblivious.

Oddly enough, it wasn't until first period Spanish class, when the principal made another announcement over the PA system - this time addressing the entire school - and my peers began getting pulled out of class by their parents, that I realized something much bigger was going on.  The first time I saw the video footage, I cried.

Fast forward three years later.  I'm on a choir tour in New York.  We are just coming up the steps from the subway, headed to a rehearsal.  I notice the chaperones ahead of me stop abruptly at the top of the stairs.  Curious, I jog the last few steps... and gasp.  Rookies to navigating the intricate subway system, we've accidentally gotten off a few stops too early and inadvertently landed ourselves at Ground Zero.  In stark contrast the the hustle and bustle of NYC, I'm instantly struck by the eerie quiet.  Generally overwhelmed and exhausted by the enormity and magnitude of the sky scrapers of this iconic city, the emptiness seems oppressively vast.  I cried for hours that day.

Where were you?

Also, my new favorite radio show did a tribute to 9/11 that is a most wonderful balance of tactful humor, humble honesty, and sincere regret.  Have a listen and tell me what you think: