Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing at a medical school in New York. Afterwards, I paid a visit to the 9/11 Memorial, still under construction but already powerful and touching.
I don’t think anyone has forgotten where they were on that dark September day, and I will similarly never forget this day. It was terribly cold, made worse by an angry, swirling wind that whipped up misty sprays from the memorial’s twin reflecting pools. There were people of every country there, as well as a field trip full of kids that could not have been more than two or three when the attacks that killed 2996 occurred.
Looking back on the entire sobering experience, there is one moment that stands out to me. Alongside one of the buildings, there was a set of stations set up where one could look up the names of the deceased by birthplace, destination, affiliation. My friend and I used these kiosks to look up two people born in Los Angeles with the same last name. For whatever reason, we automatically assumed from their first names that they were brothers, which would have been tragic enough, but the pictures that appeared showed a young father and his baby boy. Sickeningly, this means that somewhere out there is a mother who was robbed of her husband and her child on the same heart-wrenching day. It really puts things in perspective, no?
Let’s all promise to never, ever, forget.