The fourth 11th

This year, for the first time, I will not be at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th. And that will be hard.

This Sunday is also the first of the fall season in church. The kids come back to Sunday school. The choir starts. The family goes together. I know that’s where I belong.

But it hurts not to be at the World Trade Center then. Many, including my family, don’t understand why going there that morning matters to me. Worse, it reminds them that I came too close to leaving them that morning just because I thought I had some obligation to the news when, instead, I had an obligation to get out of harm’s way and return to them. I’m reminded of this choice again right now because of Katrina and all the people who made their choices in New Orleans.

In the last three years, I simply went to the site and listened as the names were read and retraced my steps that morning. I walk the steps between death and me and safety. I give thanks. I remember the heroes and innocents of the day.

I am sorry I won’t be there on the 11th. But I will remember.

  • http://ruthcalvo Ruth

    If you want to join in the Support America Walk on the 11th which is scheduled by the DOD, you have to register by 4:30 pm today, and there will be barriers to prevent joining the walk if you aren’t registered.

  • Angelos

    Freeeedom!

    The march, sponsored by the Department of Defense, will wend its way from the Pentagon to the Mall along a route that has not been specified but will be lined with four-foot-high snow fencing to keep it closed and “sterile,” said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense.

    The U.S. Park Police will have its entire Washington force of several hundred on duty and along the route, on foot, horseback and motorcycles and monitoring from above by helicopter. Officers are prepared to arrest anyone who joins the march or concert without a credential and refuses to leave, said Park Police Chief Dwight E. Pettiford.

    What’s unusual for an event on the Mall is the combination of fences, required preregistration and the threat of arrest.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    What’s unusual for an event on the Mall is the combination of fences, required preregistration and the threat of arrest.

    Not to mention its Kim Il-Sung creepiness…

  • http://www.versantsolutions.com/rss/VersantNews.xml Jason Whitman

    Jeff, a very moving post. Since moving to New York, I too have always gone to the WTC site on Sept. 11. I don’t think people outside New York always understand the emotion still tied to that place and date. And I sometimes wonder if those having their picture taken at the site with big smiles understand either. But for me it’s sacred and it’s nice to hear your take.

    Jason

  • http://www.seanbohan.com Sean Bohan

    The same terrorists who caused the tragedy would think nothing of killing those who are participating in an event to remember the dead. It is horrible, expensive (that kinda security aint cheap) and it sucks.

  • http://www.themediadrop.com Tom

    Jeff,

    I’m actually heading out to Shanksville early on Sunday morning to spend the day there, as I haven’t been out to that site and was present at the WTC and lower Manhattan back in ’01. After spending another year+ working down there, I still drop back in from time to time to check on progress or visit friends living/working in the area. What I’m wondering is whether there are not a ton of Jeff Jarvises who aren’t going there this year, and what the memorial will end up looking like, scale-wise. I also think the disappointment about some of the planned “memorials” will have an effect on the future of people attending or visiting the site, which is sad.

  • penny

    What’s unusual for an event on the Mall is the combination of fences, required preregistration and the threat of arrest.

    Are you for real? Fences and security have been part of the Mall for years.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Jeff,

    When the Islamo-fascists attacked the World Trade Center, they attacked America. They turned the WTC into a proxy for the whole country, a proxy for everyone around the world who values liberty and democracy and human rights.

    So wherever you find yourself Sunday morning, you will be at the World Trade Center in spirit.

    Thank you for reaching out to everybody through your blog. I appreciate it.

    Matthew