I don’t have an especially dramatic 9/11 story to tell, no more than anyone else who lived somewhere other than New York or D.C. (or Boston or Pennsylvania) that day. Like most people, I watched everything on a TV in my office. I was working as a designer and copywriter for a marketing company in Texas. We didn’t get much work done.
What I remember most was coming home that evening to hang out with my wife and our 17 month-old daughter. Ellie had just discovered crayons and coloring books. We were working on some kitty cat pictures on the floor of our living room. The TV was on. The local 6 o’clock news was ending, to be followed by more network coverage, and more devastating footage. When the local anchorman signed off, his voice broke. I looked up. The camera cut away as he wiped his eyes.
I looked back down at Ellie’s coloring book and picked up another crayon. Then, like the anchorman, I cried, too. For the people who’d died, and for the nation I loved, and for her future—the brightness of which had just dimmed a little. Or maybe a lot. My heart broke.
She didn’t notice. She just kept coloring.