fonts are Puritan and Downcome. I know I wrote a book here, but I wanted to document my memories for my son.


As a child, I clearly remember adults sharing their memories of the assascination of President Kennedy. With reverence, they would recount the events of the day, always starting with “I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news that the President was shot.” President Kennedy’s murder happened before I was born. But it never occurred to me that I would have my own memory of a day so devasting, that it would be seared into my brain, always associated with where I was when it happened.


On the morning of September 11, 2001, we still lived in an idyllic world. I suppose that is relative, but the stock market had started to recover, and America was prospering. Air travel was actually simple, and while I was well aware of a vague threat of terrorism and conflicts overseas, it seemed a distant worry that didn’t affect my day to day life. But that all changed in the blink of an eye.


I was at work, and had just been called to take care of one of my patients who was enrolled in an FDA trial I was overseeing. We finished, and as I was walking him to check out, I noticed a small group huddled around a television in the waiting room. I stopped for a second, and instinctively knew from the strange silence that something was terribly wrong. After my patient left, I returned to the small crowd. “What’s going on?” I asked. A coworker told me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. An accident, I wondered? But the newscaster had a strange sense of panic in his voice. Then suddenly, as I watched the screen, I saw a second plane fly directly into the tower.


I’ll never forget the surge of panic I felt. This was no accident. News began streaming in a rush. I was in shock and don’t even remember where I was when the towers collapsed. Maybe I was still in front of the TV. All I knew was that our world would never be the same.


I went back to my office and found that Michael had been trying to call. “Do you know?” he asked. He heard the news while on the road. “This is no accident,” he said gravely. Then chaos ensued. I heard about the Pentagon, and then the mysterious plane crash in Pennsylvania. I remember wondering if the world was really going to end. Someone had declared war on our soil and I was scared. In the midst of all of this, we still had to go about the business of taking care of our patients. There were people waiting for surgery.


In the days that followed, Michael and I immersed ourselves in the news. It was media overload - a constant stream of coverage that only seemed to escalate my fear. Could I ever bring a child in this world now? What will become of Ameria? Suddenly, everything I held dear, and had taken for granted, seemed to have vanished.


Now, six years later, the dust has settled. There has been a lot of water under the bridge, and a war that is costing thousands of lives with each passing year rages on. I’m sorry that Jake will never know the simplistic world that Michael and I knew. Instead, his generation will debate the value of privacy over safety.


May we never grow complacent again.