I’ve started and restarted this post so many times. I think it would be hard to find anyone over the age of 16 or so here in the United States that would say that they weren’t affected by the September 11th attacks. Everyone remembers where they were, and everyone has a story. You would think that someone who loves to tell stories would be able to tell theirs. But I rarely do.
I grew-up in Somerset County, about 20 minutes from where Flight 93 came to rest. I knew a few of the first responders and a coworker lived in the debris field. I knew a lot of the television videographers and reports that spent weeks at the media camp near the crash site. My husband was one of them. So was one of our groomsmen, the reporter who helped get us together, and more friends than I care to count.
This is where, even after all this time, I can’t find the right words to tell the story. There are things that people behind the cameras see and share with those they trust that the rest of the world will never know. It changes how we see the world and how we’re affected by events like 9/11. Men and women who do their best to carry on as professionals while witnessing so much heartbreak and fear. And still, no matter how hard I try I can’t find a way to describe what it was like without it immediately becoming raw, and the feeling that it’s not entirely my story to tell.
I know it doesn’t compare to the pain of those who lost loved ones. Or the trauma experienced by survivors and first responders. But, it is very real. It happened and it was hard for the people who went through it and their families.
It’s still hard to talk about in many ways. That’s why, after all this time, I still can’t find the right words.