Everyone says the same thing about that day: It was beautiful.
And it really was. It was like a postcard, almost, the clear, vivid blue sky that covered the eastern part of the country; the temperatures, warm but not hot. There were hardly any clouds.
My brother’s sixteenth birthday was that day.
We didn’t celebrate that day.
Today he turns 29.
It’s very strange to me, to have life and death so vividly connected. It happens every day, but for us, 9/11 was a special day before it became 9/11, before my brother’s birthday became a national shortcut to mean something we will probably never understand.
But life goes on. That’s one of the things so many people died for, in the wake of 9/11: to ensure that our lives would go on, that no more families would know the pain of the 9/11 families, that no one else would board a plan and have it hijacked and taken into buildings. That beautiful September days could stay just that–beautiful September days–and not days of loss and mourning and incomprehensible things.
So many things were lost that day. But many things also endure.