Thirteen years ago, I watched in horror as the World Trade Center collapsed. I watched the Pentagon burn. I watched as a fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Each year I remember this day like it happened yesterday.
This day is forever etched in my mind. I don’t have many days like that.
I think this day sticks in my mind more than others who live close to me. I mean we are 750 miles away from where 9/11 happened.
Maybe it’s because I have a personal connection. A few years before 9/11, I joined a Rick Springfield emailing list through Yahoo! It was such a fun group. We chatted and shared things about our favorite singer. It was on this list that I met Marni.
Marni Pont O’Doherty was her full name. I didn’t know much about her other than what she posed on the list. But we did private email each other a few times.
When she found out I was going to meet Rick in July 1999, Marni emailed me. She asked me to personally give Rick her video idea for “Prayer.” The song was from his Karma CD, released just a couple of months before.
How could I resist? I couldn’t. That wasn’t me.
I loved helping other people so I agreed to do this. She had already posted the video idea to the group, but she emailed it to me privately. I printed it off and stuck it in an envelope.
On July 24, I handed Rick that envelope when I met him backstage after the Circlefest concert. I never heard whether Marni heard back from Rick. However, I do know that she met him later that year. She was so excited.
Marni and I discovered we did have an Indiana connection. Her husband had lived in Indiana. At the time I was living in a house on 58 acres. She and I planned Rickstock on our emailing list. What a fun time that would have been!
Knowing that Marni worked in the second tower of the World Trade Center, I instantly thought of her when I heard about the planes.
In fact, the whole day I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I hoped she had gotten out in time.
Marni had sent the emailing list a message at 8:25 a.m. that morning. It was the last message we would ever see from her.
Her loss hit our emailing list hard. We loved her posts. I loved her posts.
I was going through a rough time in my life. I could log on to my email, see her posts on the list, and laugh. Sometimes she only made me smile, but at least, it lightened the moment even if for a brief period.
How would I survive without Marni’s funny posts to make me at least smile each day?
What does this day mean to me?
Patriot Day, as 9/11 is called now, means different things to different people.
This day means remembering:
- The men and women firefighters and police officers of New York. They risked their lives to save those who were in the towers. They are my heroes for doing a job that I could never do.
- The people who lost loved ones. Over 3000 people died that day. Some were in the towers, in the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania, and on the passenger planes.
- Our military. These brave men and women fight for our freedom every day. They deserve to be treated with great respect.
- Marni, a fellow Rick fan. She brightened the lives of so many other fans and even Rick. Right after she died, Rick mentioned her at his concerts and in his autobiography, Late, Late at Night. He was deeply touched by her loss as the rest of the fans were.
As a writer, sharing your thoughts and feelings is part of the process. I have shared what this day means to me. What does this day mean to you?