I flipped on the radio after getting home from yoga class Sunday night and did a double-take at the words, "Osama bin Laden is dead."
A half hour later, at 11:35 p.m. eastern time, President Barack Obama confirmed the news. Memories of the events around Sept. 11, 2001, came rushing back.
I grew up in New Canaan, CT, a suburb of New York City where many parents worked on Wall Street and many children followed suit. One of my high school classmates, Brad Fetchet, died when the World Trade Center fell. Less than two weeks ago, from the collapsed building as a memorial to the loss the community suffered.
On Sept. 11, 2001, I watched the plane hit the second tower on a tiny analog television in the back room of the event production company I then worked for in East Hartford, CT. That night I listened to U.S. military fighter jets circling the airspace within 100 miles from New York repeatedly swoop over my house.
On Oct. 11, 2001—the one-month anniversary—I started an internship at WNYC in New York, in a municipal building five blocks from Ground Zero. The debris in the air down there grabbed at my throat every night.
It feels strange to not be among the there now nearly a decade later to celebrate and reflect on the death of the man behind that devastation. The quiet of this California morning is surreal, just like the clear of the blue sky on Sept. 11, 2001.