In 2006 and 2007 I wrote a tribute about Peter Freund, a New York firefighter and father of four who lost his life on 9/11 along with so many other men, women, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, sister, sons, and daughters.
Off and on yesterday I thought about that day and how difficult it had to be for the families who lost loved ones. I work for a small business publishing company and was in my first few months of employment on 9/11. I was pregnant with Miss C and driving in to work when I first heard the news reports. One of our clients, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, had office space near the top of the South Tower and lost 67 members of their firm during the terrorist attacks. We all left work early that day and although I did not know anyone who died that day, several people I worked with did.
Last week we were watching a special on PBS about the World Trade Center towers and how construction of skyscrapers and safety regulations have changed since that horrific tragedy. The girls were still up and Miss C was sitting in the hubby’s lap. Most of the show featured interview snippets with the main architect of the Trade Center towers. And then there was a short clip from the first plane hitting the building and that horrible image of smoke against blue sky that no one can forget.
Miss C gasped. “Oh my gosh look at that plane! That plane hit that building!”
She paused a moment and asked, “Did people get hurt? Did people die?”
The hubby told her yes, they did, but many people were OK.
She thought about it some more, trying to mentally grasp what she had seen.
“That plane was a mistake?”
It was a half question, half statement.
I don’t think either of us had the heart to tell her no, that it wasn’t a mistake. That it was intentional.
So we remained silent and as 6-year-olds are apt to do, she got distracted by her little sister and she never mentioned it again.