Ten years ago today I was watching CNN. Actually, it wasn’t so much watching as it was transfixed.
I was off work that morning, and was listening to the radio. I will never forget the sullen voice that came over the radio with news of the first plane hitting the World Trade Centre. I immediately turned on the TV, and spent hours on the couch unable to move.
I initially felt shock, and then fear. I felt horror and disbelief. These emotions seemed to cycle thoughout the day. I gasped and struggled for words when I watched the towers fall, and I cried while I was watching family members plea to the cameras for help finding missing loved ones. Through the power of the media, I too felt the pain and heartache in New York.
Connor was only three years old, and far too young to understand what was happening. It still had a great effect on him though. To him, the footage of the second plane hitting the tower was “awesome.” In fact, he was unable to differentiate it from an action movie scene. Every time it was replayed on tv, it was etched deeper in his memory, and it became even more awesome.
Owen was not born until 2005, and was luckily spared from have to live through the horror.
For the past ten years I have tried so hard to forget, and to block the images of September 11 and the following days from my memory.
This year was different. Today I felt compelled to watch, because I needed to remember. For the first time, I let Owen watch too. He was gripped by the “awesome” explosion of the second plane, just like Connor was so long ago.
The sombre footage did eventually get to him though, and we had to shut it off. At six years old, the graphic nature of the documentary proved to be too much. Perhaps too emotional and far too impossible to understand.