TEN YEARS LATER, it’s still difficult to hold the number in my heart long enough for my head to comprehend it: 2977 people were simply getting on with it the morning of September 11, 2001—on duty at the fire station, gazing out the window of an airplane, checking something on the computer at work (as I was)—when the earth tilted on its axis. Over the course of a couple of hours, the horrific nightmare came into focus as a reality that would alter our country, and our belief system, forever.
The church bulletin this morning reminded me of other incomprehensible details. The 9/11 dead included:
- 236 citizens from more than 90 countries
- 19 hijackers
- 246 people on the four planes:
- 40 aboard United Flight 93 that went down in Shanksville, PA;
- 87 aboard American Flight 11, which was the first to hit the World Trace Center;
- 60 aboard United Flight 175, which was the second plane to hit the World Trade Center; and
- 59 aboard American Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.
- 2606 in New York City in the Twin Towers and on the ground
- 125 at the Pentagon, 55 of whom were military personnel
- 411 emergency workers who responded to the scene, including:
- 342 firefighters;
- 10 paramedics;
- 23 NYC police officers; and
- 37 Port Authority officers.
I still don’t know how to think about that awful day, and I’m not sure how it fits into Day Two of Grace. Perhaps it is simply that we have the capacity to remember.
30 Days of Grace