I had quite the scare on the PATH train this morning as I was waiting for the doors to close in Hoboken.
For once, I didn’t have headphones in my ears, because the wind chill of -10 degrees when I left my apartment made my ski hat much more of a priority than my iPod. So rather than listening to Social Distortion, I heard the Hoboken station manager’s announcement.
This is what I thought I heard: “Direct impact, World Trade Center. Direct impact, World Trade Center.” My mind immediately started racing, as did my heartbeat. I realized that today was the 11th and the worst possible thoughts started coming to mind.
Then I looked around the train and noticed that only one or two other passengers even had their eyebrows raised a little bit, so I started to calm down and rethink matters. That’s when I realized that the announcement actually said, “Heading back, World Trade Center. Heading back, World Trade Center,” to inform the conductor that the train was making one more run, rather than going out of service.
I’ve never been one of those people who get hit by a raindrop and immediately start yelling, “The sky is falling!” I don’t rattle easy, but I was definitely a little rattled this morning.
I still see various iterations of the phrase, “9/11: Never Forget” on T-shirts, hats and bumper stickers. I seriously doubt it’s an issue. Anyone who was anywhere near this city when the tragedy happened will never forget.
Even if they’ve gotten to the point where I am — actually managing to go a few days at a time without thinking about it — no one will ever forget. And I was one of the “lucky” ones who didn’t lose anyone close to them. My worst experience was losing a friend of a friend, who was an absolute great guy and a tragic loss, but not part of my everyday life. I can’t even imagine what goes through the minds of people who lost family members or close friends, or people who were close to the scene.
“9/11: Never Forget.” I doubt anyone will.