Monday marked the 16th anniversary of the fall of the World Trade Center towers.
In 2013, soon after I came to the office of The Press newspapers, my opportunity to write an editorial fell on Sept. 10. I wrote of personal recollections of that day — vacuuming the floor in my parents’ home in Upper Milford Township when news images began to flood television screens, anxiously awaiting for word of the whereabouts of my sister, who was in New York City that day, and others.
I asked readers to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City and Washington, D.C., and near Shanksville, Pa., as well as the lives lost in the subsequent and continuing long wars, the acts and attacks of terrorism since that day and the quiet strength of those who lost so much — family members and survivors, first responders who lost colleagues and coworkers, rescue and recovery workers who searched, cleared and cleaned that vast and horrific landscape.
The observance of that horrific day remains difficult for many.
Personally, I cannot, and do not think I will ever be able to, visit the National September 11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center. Friends and acquaintances who have been have described it. My sister, mentioned above, and I have traveled to New York City together several times since that day; however, neither of us has suggested an excursion to the memorial.
We have peered up at the Duke Ellington statue atop the traffic circle at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street, made the pilgrimage to the Imagine Memorial dedicated to John Lennon in Central Park, been tourists at Macy’s Herald Square, the New York Times and The Plaza Hotel and snapped photos of the Jackie Gleason, as iconic television character bus driver Ralph Kramden, statue outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Like the National September 11 Memorial, the Pentagon and Shanksville also are places I will not selectively see.
My personal observance of Sept. 11 in recent years has become smaller and internal.
I recall my anxiety about flying back for school and my father trying to reassure me all would be OK. I remember the stoic looks on the faces of neighbors in Upper Milford Township as efforts were made to try to return to a certain type of normalcy in the subdivision in the days after the planes hit. I remember how thankful I was to be at home when it all happened. I revisit my thoughts of wondering what would happen next.
On Monday, many of those feelings and thoughts returned.
Sept. 11, 2001, redefined the world for many in so many ways.
Let us not forget that.
East Penn Press