Another non-book post. Sorry. The book reviews are coming back soon, I promise.  But I want to talk about 9/11.  I’ve never been able to talk about it easily, without it taking me to a very dark place, and I was thousands of miles from it.

There will be plenty of “I remember where I was when I heard” discussions today, and I could tell you mine. I can see the room, remember it so clearly.  But that is not the part of 9/11 I want to talk about.

I want to talk about the part of 9/11 that haunts me, that I cannot think about too much, that can bring me to tears if I think on it for more than a few minutes. Flight 93.  Perhaps it’s because a large part of my professional life has involved airplanes, but it has always been so easy for me to imagine the humanity on that plane.

The people who had heard what had happened in New York, and knew what was about to happen on their plane.  To know that there would be no happy ending but deciding to do what they could anyway.  Making last minute calls to tell people what was going on. To say goodbye to loved ones. To be on the other end of the phone and suddenly hear only silence and know what that meant.  To hope beyond hope that the ending could be anything else, but knowing it couldn’t be.

That kind of courage. That brings me to my knees and makes me hope that if I am ever faced with any similar sort of situation, I’m  brave enough to do what the passengers and crew of Flight 93 did. To never be on the other end of that phone call, feeling so helpless but knowing that perhaps you’re giving someone a bit of comfort in their last moments.

We are far from a perfect country, but we rose to our best on that day. Hopefully the day will come when we honor the victims and survivors of 9/11 of being that best every day.