The morning of 9/11 I remember exactly where I was. I worked in a computer lab. With in minutes after the first plane hit their target, there were scenes of the disaster on every computer. All work ground to a halt. I looked at the carnage over and over from every conceivable angle. Pentagon, Philadelphia, New York Twin Towers. Shock, horror, disbelief. I felt nothing. I looked at the screens and thought how sad but I felt nothing. I realized there was something wrong with me that I could look on and feel nothing at all. The week before I had been told that I had cancer. I encapsulated myself in numbness. I felt no grief for the victims. I felt no anger at the perpetrators. I knew this was not an appropriate reaction. I looked at the faces of those around me. Their faces reflecting their horror. I knew I was missing something. I pondered the fear I felt the week before when I was diagnosed with cancer in the early stages. I was told that I had a 98% chance of survival. I went home to my family. I realized all those people would not be going home to their families that night. When People Magazine published their magazine of the tragedy, I cried all the way through every page. I felt their grief. I felt outraged. I felt all that anyone could feel, a week later. Dissociation works that way. I was so out of touch with how I felt that I took a week to wrap my mind around the fact that I felt deep grief for the thousands of strangers that didn’t go home from work that night.
The community where I live filled a park with a Healing Field with flags for every person that died that day. Flags were everywhere. Yellow ribbons for armed servicemen and women. Teddy bears for children that died in the plane crashes. I learned that I can shoot pictures while crying. That auto-focus helped me shoot several hundred pictures. I cried and expressed my deep sorrow nine years after that tragic day. Like Pearl Harbor, may we always remember these thousands of people that died because of the choices of others. May I live more connected, more concerned for those around me, more aware of world events, more thankful to be on Earth, and closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ.