Today is September 11, 2004. The third anniversary of perhaps the most infamous day in our nation's history. It is also my daughter Lindsey's 16th birthday.
I remember waking up about 7am on September 11, 2001. My radio alarm clock was set to KFBK news in Sacramento, and Peter Jennings was on ABC radio talking about something. I didn't listen closely, but I remember thinking, "what's Peter Jennings doing on the radio?"
I got up, walked out to the living room, where Lindsey was watching TV. She'd been up a bit earlier, getting ready for school. I looked at the screen, and saw some building on fire. I figured it was an old documentary or something, so I didn't think much of it.
I went to make coffee, and Lindsey asked me something about what was on TV. Since I hadn't watched yet, I came over to see what the documentary was about. It's then I realized whatever it was, it was live.
Dang, lots of smoke pouring out of that building.
Oh, wait, it's two buildings.
Holy smokes, those are the World Trade Towers in New York.
Soon Cameron and Emily came out to the living room, and we all watched for a few minutes. The TV news began replaying video of the planes hitting the buildings, and before long, the full impact of what we were seeing finally hit us.
It was horrible.
I remember Lindsey standing in front of the TV, saying, "That kinda ruins by birthday."
She's was right, of course. It kinda put a pall over the whole birthday thing.
Knowing that every September 11th for years to come will be overshadowed by the memorial events, we told her she could pick any other day of the year, and we'd celebrate her birthday that day. She's never really picked a particular day, and we usually wind up celebrating the birthday based more on paychecks and availability of funds than the calendar. Tonight I'll take her to dinner where ever she wants, and we'll have the birthday "celebration" thing in a week or two.
September 11 will, for me, always be my daughter's birthday first.