By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext
I lost my memory of the time between when the first tower fell on Sept 11, 2001 and when a first responder helped me and my dog get to a hospital. The 9/11 events I do remember come up less often now, mostly in bad dreams, or with the prolonged sound of sirens. Or certain sounds the wind makes.
But those are not the most important memories of the day.
I lived three blocks south and we were evacuated to Battery Park. I’ll never forget the smells, the smoke, the screams, the jumpers. But then it goes blank for a few hours and has never come back.
One most important memory
What I remember most of all about 9/11 – and will never forget – is people helping each other. Street vendors handed out water. One hotdog vendor gave out ice cream. I fed it to Sam, my Labrador Retriever, who hadn’t had breakfast before we started running. Somebody handed us towels.
People picked up others who fell when we ran. Strangers shared water, gave their jackets to people whose shirts were torn. People whose phone still had signals let other people make calls and send messages to family.
People were kind on 9/11. Because people, inherently, are kind.
I can’t explain the hate that has surfaced in so many corners since that day. What damn difference does it make what religion one practices? Or the color of one’s skin? People have been killing each other over these issues for millennia. How could a anyone want to fight over things like that? Time doesn’t seem to teach the lessons we need most of all.
Yet, I believe that most people – given the chance – are inherently good. Some lose their way, apparently. But in the end, love will trump evil and hate. That’s the memory I hope we can all keep in mind.