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Because I Made a Promise

I don’t know if it’s just because I spent the day working here at home, or if there is just much less being said, but I didn’t hear much about the fact that it’s September 11 today. Maybe it feels like everything that could be said has been said, and we have only to roll our eyes impatiently at the cliches.

Well, I have nothing new to say. But I’ll recap my memory of the day anyway. 

Six years ago today, I had just arrived at work, and was getting my computer started when a co-worker of mine said in kind of a bemused voice, (I’ll never forget this as long as I live) “Hey, a little plane just hit the World Trade Center. Here it is on CNN.com.”

We went over to her desk and looked over her shoulder at a still photo of a smoking hole in one of the towers. We were thinking to ourselves, maybe that wasn’t a little plane. Those are BIG towers…

That was the last moment of peace and innocence I remember before the events began to unfold. The second plane hit while we watched on CNN.com. After that, we knew it was serious.

We all went out to the TV hung on the wall in the lounge, about 30 or 35 of us standing or sitting, looking up at the TV as the newscasts rolled. So many people were crying. So many others just sat there, stunned. And then the first heart-rending collapse. The immense cloud of smoke and dust and the fear that rolled outward with it. The awful sound of the commentators’ voices as their hearts failed them. I remember someone screaming.

It crossed my mind that this might be the beginning of the end of the world. That this might be the War to end all Wars, started with a vicious attack on innocent people. Who knows if that still might be the case?

I remember that the entire company shut down that day and they sent us all home. And it was later that day that I learned that my friend Brady was missing from the Pentagon. It was two days later that I learned he’d been killed. 



Brady Howell was a born leader (he was the student body president at our high school our senior year). He was smart and hilarious and ambitious and educated, and he was living his dream as a Presidential Management Intern, working as a civilian for the department of Naval Intelligence at the Pentagon. He was at work on that day, 6 years ago today, when he was killed by the plane flown in to the building.

I made a promise that I would never forget him. That I would never forget that he was killed by terrorists who seek to destroy the peace of this country and cause pain and sorrow, and grief and fear, anger and mistrust among us. That I would never forget to appreciate LIFE, to live it and love it, and be grateful for what I have. That even though our lives are sometimes full of fear and sorrow, it’s a good life, and how glad I am to have it. And how much I want not to waste it. :)

I’m taking this chance to remember that promise now. For me, this will never be just another day on the calendar.

Brady, my friend, you will never be forgotten.

Take just a minute and go over to the 2996 blog. This is a complete list of all the victims. All of the people who died. It stuns and saddens me how long it takes to scroll to the bottom of that list, without even reading names.

Here are some other comments from bloggers around the world. Feel free to leave your link in the comments with your thoughts. 

Maybe it’s just me hearing less about this. Maybe the years will fade this event from memory. Maybe there will come a day when “September 11” doesn’t instantly bring to mind that terrible day. But I won’t forget my promise.  Brady, my friend, you will never be forgotten.

Your turn: What will you never forget about this day and its aftermath? 


on 2007-09-12 04:07 by Jessica

Following a few more blogs. Reading a few more things. I stumbled on

this blog

, and he embedded a link to a really COOL story, being read in this YouTube video. It’s a children’s book, the true story of a heroic fireboat named the John J. Harvey, who helped put out the massive fire caused by the attacks at the World Trade Center. We’re totally going to buy this book.

Photoshop Friday! 2007 #30 Create a brush from a dingbat

Long Time Gone, etc.