It’s important to remember

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Tomorrow is an important anniversary. It happens to be a round number and so there is more effort to recognize the event. But for those of us who lived through this piece of history, it was a day when you say forever more, “I remember where I was… on 9/11.”

I remember feeling very lucky that day. Lucky to be Canadian, lucky to be living in the tiny town of Banff in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. It was a world away from New York City and the two towers of the World Trade Centre.

But even in the middle of nowhere, I was still watching TV that morning. I saw the footage on The Today Show, and I remember hearing the shock and horror in Katie Couric’s voice as she described the news.

It was a day of shock and awe. Just when we thought things were under control, something else happened. How could there be two planes? How could the towers – both of them! – fall?? And there were other locations too with planes being intentionally crashed???!! That’s when we started to look in the sky where we were.

Countries around the world rallied to support America. We all felt a kinship, a need to express our sympathy and to stand beside the Americans in solidarity.

We had no idea of how the shock waves would spread. Air space was closed off. People all over the world were afraid.

In a matter of days, the tourist bookings at The Banff Springs Hotel, where both my husband and I worked, dropped off to almost nothing. The Japanese bus tour companies cancelled months of bookings overnight.

We were recent hires at “the Castle”, as the hotel was affectionately known by locals. Being the last on the door we were afraid we may lose our jobs if business continued to be slow. For reasons that didn’t seem to be connected to something that happened across the continent, our lives were forever changed.

We didn’t lose our jobs, thankfully. We were extremely grateful to have professionally survived and swore to honour that with more focus on balance and quality time. Little did we know we would need those skills nineteen years later.

I am disappointed that we did not remember better how to deal with such adversity. The world did rally during lockdown, but we have fallen back into many of our old habits. Discord is the new normal and

With twenty years passing since the events of 9/11 in the States, there are generations who have not lived through it. Now is our chance to make sure they know of the horrors of that day and how it affected the world.

The 9/11 memorial by day…
… and by night.

If we are to learn from history, we must keep it alive for reference. Future generations will use that information to help them form a new and improved world.

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”

Michael Chrichton