A t-shirt , a word, a picture, a memory - everyone has their own personal memory of this day, five years ago.
Preparing for my morning DevCon session in San Diego, I had decided to be up early and was working in the session room when the first plane hit.
Trish has commented on how she felt fortunate not to have seen it all happen in real time (PDT vs. EDT). I went up to our room before my session began and told her to turn on the TV. Everything was over by then - and the rest was just beginning. I would agree except that I was there in "real time", receiving instant messages from a North Carolina office and attempting to view the front page on MSNBC. I wasn't watching television so I had no view on watching the destruction until later but giving the 8am session and coming out to a hallway filled with tears, TV monitors and more was an experience I will never forget.
That Devcon was incredibly surreal - I imagine, for everyone there. Dinner in the Gaslight District a few days later, walking on the pier between the airport (where no planes were taking off) and the base where jet fighters flew by. A colleague left the hotel, not wanting to wait for a flight, and took a bus from San Diego back to Ottawa (viewing a great deal of the entire American country along the way). We waited it out and finally got home only a few days later than when we were supposed to.
Removed, yet not removed. Anyone who had been to New York before 9/11 likely felt they were there on that day. We had our honeymoon in New York years before and still have pictures showing the towers silhouetted behind us.
Lives are lost every day, many times without reason or a meaning as to why. There are those who love and those who hate. Those lives who were lost that day across the United States - and anyone whose lives have been touched by those who hate - were lost needlessly and should never be forgotten.
I've never been back to New York and who knows if I ever will be. But it is a day (as are the days after) etched into my memory forever.