Always Remember and Never Forget

I thought I shared my 9/11 story last year with you, RMT’ers, but I guess not. While I was thousands of miles away from Ground Zero, that day resonates with me in a way like no other. I guess this is what our parents speak of when they mention the JFK assassination or what our grandparents mean when reflecting on Pearl Harbor. This is that event of my generation.

It was a regular work morning and I woke up to the sound of the 91X DJ Chris Cantore on the radio saying that “a plane has just hit the twin towers in New York City… after this song we’ll be back with more details.” Well, forget that! I immediately went and turned on my television and saw what was happening in real time right before my eyes. I saw the second plane hit the towers live on TV. I saw the devastation and absolute mayhem and war-like conditions that had just taken over the largest city in America. Yet still, somehow, I had to get up and go to work.

Once at work – on the 20th floor of a downtown San Diego high-rise, mind you – it’s an understatement to say the air was thick with anxiety, sadness, and fear. How was anyone expected to work when our country was essentially under attack?! Thank god our bosses saw it that way, too, and we were dismissed by around 10am that morning and told to stay home until otherwise notified (think we got another day off after that for inspectors to check buildings in our area, including ours, for any security breaches).

So I and a few friends went home and baked cookies. Yep, peanut butter cookies. They were for us and for the boyfriend I had at the time (who just now happens to be my husband). Total comfort food in a time when any comfort was welcome anywhere we could find it. We happened to find it in my oven. And somehow those still are some of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve had to date; simple, but so satisfying and so needed (thanks Martha Stewart).

Next time I go to New York City, I hope to get by the 9/11 Memorial, for sure. Pictured here are just a handful of the names of those who gave all that awful morning in 2001… including the name of my mom’s best friend’s nephew. It still brings me to tears to think of those who might still be hurting not just today but those who have been grieving for the last 11 years. (Photo from Facebook post by S. Padilla)

But I didn’t want to share my story because of a cookie recipe. I wanted to share because even after all this time, this day sticks with me like it was yesterday, and I know it does for so many of the RMT readers, too. And, it’s comforting for me to write it out and pay remembrance to those who gave and lost their lives that day. I remember being worried – VERY worried – about a small handful of my own friends, but thankfully they were safe and sound. On the other hand, I have dear, close friends who lost family and friends that horrible day, and that very thought still brings me to tears each 9/11 morning (as it did this morning as I remembered them while watching the President speak live on TV and others read the names at the memorials).

I send you strength and comfort today as we always remember and never forget this day in our country’s history.