I watched a presentation of 9/11 film on the History Channel tonight. So much of it was still with me, I can remember watching hour after hour of it on the tv at the time, but this was different. They took the events minute-by-minute and they used video taken by New Yorkers who were on the street or in their homes with a clear view of the towers.
At one point, before the 1st collapse, but after both towers had been hit, there was a line of firefighters filing past the cameraman. As I watched the footage, it occurred to me that I was probably looking at men who never made it back out alive. One face in particular appeared very young to me. Later, I watched a show where the photographers spoke about their footage and the man who shot those firefighters, he confirmed that those men did not make it.
My older daughter walked in, asked me why I was crying, why I was watching it. I tried to explain to her that it's important to honor the memory of those people, what they went through that day. We can't just forget. It's a horrible thing and it's important to remember it. She sat down and watched part of it with me. I described to her some of what I saw, about the smoke from the first collapse, how it billowed down the street like some sort of live being, just snaking up and around the buildings, chasing the terrified people down the street. Incredible.
After the second collapse, it was so quiet and the rescue workers were shown walking through as if they weren't sure where to go. Where to start? I'm sure the task in front of them was overwhelming. They were so brave. All those people so brave.