One year ago today, two enterprising young men and a guy named “Iceman” started a little website called “Cosby Sweaters”. The sole thing I remember about that day is getting a phone call from The Diplomat in which he said, simply, “Go like Cosby Sweaters on Facebook. Don’t ask questions.” I did so and was quickly brought in as the first staff writer. 3,767 posts and almost 2,000 Facebook “likes” later here we are, one year old. We can walk without holding onto the furniture now, hold our head up straight and make drinks because we know what 50/50 means.
Ten years ago today, we all know what happened. What I remember about that day is everything. EVE-RY-THING. I remember my roommate knocking on my door that morning and waking me up. I opened it to find her standing there, tears in her eyes, telling me to turn on the TV before I left for work. She left and I crawled back into bed, mostly ignoring it in my haze. Curiosity got to me and I turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane collide with the WTC. I spent that day glued to the TV, on the phone with friends and family, wondering if the rumors of more planes heading towards Los Angeles were true and finally venturing out to Jerry’s Deli to get some food, my first step outside into a world forever changed. The diner was nearly silent, as we all ate and watched the televisions, wondering what might be next and how we’d go on from there.
As I thought about Cosby Sweaters’ first birthday and the date those young men chose to flip the switch to “on”, it hit me how funny it is that I recall every second of the most horrible day in American history with vivid clarity, yet I remember only a sentence spoken to me over the phone about a day that would truly change my life. Yes, the “big 9/11” changed my life as well but, truth be told, it really only inconvenienced it in a lot of ways – airport security, for example.
So today, on our first birthday, I wonder why it takes a tragedy to seal our memories. There’s so much good out there and it passes through our lives every day. It could be big or small but it’s out there. The tenth anniversary of the attacks reminded me how we all spend so much time dwelling on the gloom of life but so little time celebrating the absolute joy of waking up, drawing a breath, and living another day. I’m not saying we shouldn’t mourn those we lost, but rather that we should take a moment to take a mental snapshot of the all the good we experience, too.
Give us a birthday present today – take a moment to remember the details about this glorious NFL kickoff Sunday. Make a spot in your head for a wonderful day’s worth of awesome.