Eleven years ago today, I woke up to my brother informing me that a family friend had just called and told us to turn on the news because someone had flown a plane into the World Trade Center. I was thinking some joker had gotten lost in a Cessna and ended up meeting a sad demise. When I staggered out to the living room in time to see the second plane hit the second tower, I realized something much larger was going on. We had been planning on heading over to a local community college that day for classes, but - due to its proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base - we decided to bunker down at home with Lester Holt.
Fast forward eleven years. I woke up on a hospital couch today. In the hospital bed was my wife; between us was our newborn son. The confusion I felt on 9/11 seems like a distant memory. In a world where the PATRIOT Act and long lines at security have become commonplace, it's hard to recall exactly what I thought might happen next that day. I didn't go to college because I felt Wright-Patt might not be the safest place to be around. In reality, everything that was going to be done was already done.
That confusion, that feeling of the unknown is replaced with an entirely different one when I look at my first child. My world has changed again, but in an entirely more wonderful way. He watched Cleveland lose to the Eagles dressed in a Browns onesie; he came home today in an Indians cap. I put him in his bassinet and crossed his forearms in front of him like he was Stan Burrell. Or Dante Jackson. Or Jalen Reynolds. Or any number of Xavier players from the past, present, or future. The world spins madly on.Even in the hospital, I still was able to check the Banners Twitter from time to time. Today, everyone and his mother reminded me to never forget 9/11. More than 70 years ago, it was December 7th that was a date that would live in infamy. My grandfather served with distinction in WWII, earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in Europe before taking a train from New York to California to train to invade Japan. Instead, we dropped the bomb. If we hadn't, it would have been ketsu-go against Grandpa D. Instead, the keyboard upon which I'm typing this informs me that it is a product of Japan.
In the intervening decade plus, a lot of things have happened on September 11ths. Some of them were happy coincidence, like bringing my son home today. Other were probably planned: weddings, parties, returns to work or school. Seventy years from now, what will we be never forgetting about today? Will our grandchildren treat 9/11 the way we treat 12/7?
I don't know. I do know that I will never forget 9/11/12. If you've gotten this far looking for the Xavier tie-in, it's not here. We played sports the rest of 2001. We will play them in 2012, and we will play them in 2112, should the Lord tarry. There are things in life that you should never forget. I hope you are able to focus on the right ones; family, loved ones, the events that bring us all together. We only have so much capacity for never forgetting; I do hope we use it wisely.