Nine years ago today I found myself in the ICU unit at Emory Hospital. It turns out that I had incurred a weird virus on July 4th of 2001, so that I was unaware of my heart transplant until I came to in early September. I was still learning to make words that beautiful September morning. In any ICU there is little concept of day or night with the bright flourescent lights always on and medical machines humming away, but I am told it was beautiful. Lying there unable to move, I began to notice that the nurses were crying and holding each other as they looked up at the suspended tv set. Later my wife told me why.
Things changed irrevocably for all Americans that September 11th, and we were plunged into a new world of fear of attack, doubt in our national strength, and a sad realization that no longer were we an invulnerable nation. But we also saw heroism and caring on a scale that was inspiring and still is. It took a while for me to get out of Emory and back home and into the classroom, but my 9/11 experience, as remote as it was, will always be with me.