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I just turned on the TV and they are once again reading the names of all the innocent victims of 9/11. Here in New York, we don’t forget and I ask that you don’t either. Below is a piece (slightly updated) that I wrote last year.

And here we are again.

September 11th.

8 years later.

I remember that day and all its horrors so vividly. I remember the endless aching that followed as I and everyone else futilely tried to make sense of something so violent and cruel and of course, completely senseless.

I remember pouring over the “New York Times’ Portraits of Grief” where the paper honored each and every victim with poignant, beautiful details of their lives.

And for some reason, Michele Coyle-Eulau always stuck with me. I didn’t know her. Only what I read. She had three sons, 2, 5 and 7 years-old.

Matthew, Mark and Eric.  The children who were waiting for her to come home that day.

She was a working mom, who juggled a full and hectic schedule, including a three day a week job as a systems analyst. She worked one day from home and two days on the 96th floor of Tower One. The World Trade Center.

She was 38 years-old.

At night her husband would yell out to her, “Michelle, it’s 11 o’clock! Could you just come to bed?”

And the piece ended like this…

What took her so long to get to bed? Packing lunches, making grocery lists, arranging play dates. “I never understood,” her husband said. “Now I do.”

For eight years I’ve been thinking of Michele and her family.

I’m absolutely sure that I always will.

And not a day goes by that I don’t hear the roar of an engine, look up and notice a plane flying high above New York City.

I’m usually pushing my stroller down the street or sitting at the playground or hurrying to find a cab.

I always look up.  And I always think of that day and the nearly 3,000 victims who were robbed of their lives.

Every single day.

There is no forgetting.

32 Responses to remembering michele

  • Crystal says:

    I’ve always loved New York City! I FINALLY got to visit when my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary up there. It was 2006 and I made it a special point to take some pastries (ok, doughnuts) to a fire station close to our hotel…I was crying so much in 2001 when I saw what had happened to a city I’d never been to but had always loved from a far, my mother thought I was going to make myself go into labor. Very nice memorial, Kelcey. My prayers go to all the families.

  • Scary Mommy says:

    I remember that day vividly, too. I recall pouring over the Washington Post and seeing the photo of an old friend in the memorial section. He was 27 and had just gotten engaged and had the sweetest puppy in the world. I think of him every day.

  • Lisa says:

    It is so important to remember the people and not just the day. Thank you for sharing Michele’s story, her family and others will be in my thoughts today.

  • MN Mama says:

    Thanks for reposting this story. May we as a country never forget the people. I am grateful each day to have my family and that my family and close friends somehow survived that day. I know others were not so fortunate. Thanks for the reminder to think of them.

  • Jackie says:

    Even here in the middle of the country we always remember too and it affected each of us just as deeply. Thanks for your story! All those families are in my thoughts today.

  • Jane Millar says:

    Thanks for this posting – its a special story and so important to humanise the event not just remember the date. We in the UK won’t forget either. I have visited NYC twice since and have been down to Ground Zero and was moved to tears both times.

    Ps love your blog!

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Of course people will forget; just as the young people today don’t much know about or would remember the Holocaust and some people claim it ‘never happened’. Every generation has it’s ‘horrors’ to remember…and some have lots of ‘horrors’ to remind them of the cruelty and craziness in this world. 9/11 is just one more event in history to remind us of how fleeting life is; and how crazy people can act out their aggression.

  • kristen says:

    I remember every minute of that morning and how differently we live our lifes because of it.
    I didn’t get to listen to the names being read this morning, I was sorry to miss that…

  • Michelle says:

    Kelcey, I sat through several 9/11 ceremonies today with lots of pomp and circumstance, they didn’t hold a candle to this post. Thanks for reminding us all to never forget those ordinary people such on an extraordinary day.

  • Steph says:

    Rest assured we remember. Here in Austin, Texas, the radio stations had a moment of silence at 8:46 (eastern time). I was driving our daughters to school and thankful they were in the back seat and couldn’t see me crying. Thank you for this post honoring Michele and all the victims.

  • Grace says:

    I just look at my boys always after reading something like this and realize that no day is a gaurantee. She might have hurried them along that morning cause she was running late or snapped at one of them. As a mother who sits up some nights thinking about how I need to do a better job I am sure she had those kind of last thoughts too. And I am sure those boys only have memories of how wonderful she was. It is just so sad

  • vodkamom says:

    That was an amazing tribute. I was teaching second grade then- and one of my students’ parents were in a plane flying home that day from England. I was called as soon as it happened and kept getting updates about them. They were re-routed to Canada- but I will never forget that little boy and the fact that his life was NOT shattered.

  • Kristin says:

    I will never forget 9/11. I was at the Animal Medical Center that day. I remember going up to the roof and looking downtown and seeing the smoke blowing towards Brooklyn. Mario heard one of the planes fly overhead in our Village apartment. He thought “Why is it so loud?” Then we knew why. I pray for the families.

  • Shannon says:

    It’s funny how people stick with you that you don’t even know. I remember from the OKC Bombing, the mom named Edie with 2 boys named Chase and Chance I believe. I was 3 months pregnant and now have a Chase of my own. I’ve never forgotten her, my Chase is 14 now, still sticks with me.

  • Amy says:

    I’ll never forget 9/11 either. While the rest of the world was watching the events unfold, I was watching the towers fall from my office window on 18th street & 5th avenue. I’ll never forget riding the LIRR home with people covered in dust. All in shock. And I’ll never forget the almost 3,000 people who lost their lives, just for going to work that day. You’re right, NY will never forget, and I hope the rest of the world never does either.

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kelcey kintner