It almost shocks me that today has become -- almost -- a normal day. I wouldn't have dreamed it possible eight years ago that I could go calmly about my business today. I wouldn't have dreamt that I would take the subway in the morning and evening without any fear, make phone calls, handle work issues and actually focus on the subject matter at a long and complex meeting I attended this morning. I even expect to be able to sleep as well as usually tonight. For all of these gifts, I am awed and profoundly grateful that this is possible.
For the first few months following September 11, 2001 I wept every day. I worked just a few blocks from the World Trade Center and the sights and the awful smell of ash were with me every day. For months and years that followed I thought of September 11 daily. There was always something that triggered a memory. But now eight years have passed. I now work miles away from Lower Manhattan and a month can go by between my visits there. September 11 is no longer my first thought in the morning. I'm surprised and grateful, but I have a responsibility to remember this day.
And yet it is not a normal day. I must remember this day and all that happened, and all that I saw and experienced. I feel a powerful need to remember, to bear witness to the lives of the 2700 people who went to work one beautiful September morning and did not come home that night to their families and friends.