September 11: Reflections Many Years After the 9/11 American Tragedy by Carrie Watts

Opinion
3 years ago
September 11: Reflections Many Years After the 9/11 American Tragedy

Today is the anniversary of one of the most tragic events in American history. On September 11, 2001, 2,605 Americans lost their lives. As an American, and a New Yorker, I always find this day to be a difficult one.

People in Scotland, where I live, do not mark the date at all for some reason. Although 67 British people died that day (the most of any nation except America) and a total of 372 foreign nationals from 61 countries other than the U.S. died, 9/11 is an American tragedy. The immensity of it – of so many families cleaved apart, of children losing parents and parents losing children – is more than the heart can bear. Yet, my own marriage, my children, would never have been if not for 9/11.

I only met my husband because he was in NYC on holiday from Scotland and his 9/13 return flight was grounded. So, for me, this is a very personal day. It is a part of me. And when I mourn those who were lost, I also thank them: for the courage they showed, for the gifts they were to others, and, most of all, for the sacrifice they made so I (and others like me) could have a happily ever after.

I hope that what has grown from the wreckage in the form of my little family is some small consolation to those whose futures were irrevocably changed that day. I pray that it is.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on September 11, 2018.

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
I love this. So many powerful memories and emotions for me, too. I just touched down in Germany. Second time I’ve flown on September 11 since that tragic day. Gotta admit, it’s equal parts terrifying and liberating. We can’t let them win. Thank you for sharing this important piece, Carrie Watts . ❤️
Carrie Watts
Thank you, Elisa. I admire your bravery and resilience in flying on Sept 11. I was also in London on July 7th, when the Underground was hit, and I struggle with leaving my house on both these days now. I do my best, though, because I feel like it would be an insult to those who died to not keep living when I have that option.
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Carrie Watts , thank you for this wonderful perspective. Today, my son is flying to Bangalore, India, by way of Austin, Philly and Doha, Qatar. To say I am nervous is an understatement. Thank you for these words, they help. We will never forget!

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