Six years ago, at this time, I was sitting at my computer in a cinder-block apartment, staring at CNN's website. We didn't have a TV in out apartment, and I couldn't stand watching the one in the lobby anymore-- too many people were coming through, and I couldn't look at their shell-shocked faces anymore. They looked too much like I felt, and it wasn't a fun thing to see.
I didn't go down to the television again, in the weeks that followed. I stayed glued to my computer, lapping up any news of someone being pulled out of the wreckage, until those stories ended. And then I didn't want to see anymore. But I couldn't stop. I remember wanting, almost, desperately, to not go to CNN, or MSNBC, or CBS, or any other news website, not wanting to see those pictures again, not wanting to read any more of the same words... But I couldn't stay away.
For years, every time I saw a flag at half-staff, I wondered if I had somehow managed to miss hearing about another attack. I spent the rest of the day slightly jittery until I could go home and make sure nothing cataclysmic had happened.
I was one of those people who spent a week or so of autumn 2001 flinching when I saw a jet fly overhead.
I have looked at the news very nearly every day of the six years between then and now. There have been 2-- yes, I counted, 2-- days when one of the top stories was not something related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Honor and remember the dead.