911

A few days ago marked the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attack. Politics aren’t really my thing, so I don’t have a whole to say about it.

I will mention that September 11, 2001, was the day we got our dog Jack. We had been to the Lancaster Humane League the prior Saturday and found him there among his fellow canine inmates. The good folks at the Humane League asked us to return on Tuesday morning.

On Monday, September 10, I arranged to take the following morning off of work so that I could along with my wife and daughter to bring Jack home.

I woke up late on September 11 and ate a leisurely breakfast with my family, which was a special treat for me. While we ate, my father-in-law called and said that we should turn on the television to check out what was going on. He told us that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We sat and watched while we finished our breakfast, unable to make sense of the situation.

Grace and Jack, Day OneWe left the house shortly thereafter and went to the Humane League, where we picked up Jack. He was scrawny and dirty and seemed to have some bladder issues. But he was gentle and friendly, and neither he nor Grace feared the other. We took him for a short walk, and we all decided he was the dog for us. When we went back inside and did the paperwork, we watched on the small television behind the counter as the second tower collapsed. By now, we were hearing rumors of two more planes that had been hijacked.

On the ride home, we listened to the radio in disbelief as we heard about another plane hitting the Pentagon.

When we got home, Jack tried to run away for the first of many times. By that time, most of the local schools were dismissing their students. I called my boss to tell him I wouldn’t be in the rest of the day.

I remember that my grandparents stopped by with my aunt and uncle, and my father-in-law stopped by later. It seemed like people wanted to be around other people. I had always wondered about my parents’ ability to connect with other people of their generation simply by talking about where they were and what they were doing when they heard about President Kennedy being shot. Suddenly, I understood. This would be the day that defined and connected my generation.

Slate is hosting Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón’s extremely well done graphic adaptation of the 9/11 Report. It’s well worth checking out.

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