Nine Years Ago...

Today's date 9.11.10, city of Washington D.C., local time 6:47 am

I open the curtains to my hotel room that overlooks the city at dawn. Sitting in a chair drinking coffee I watch the city slowly come to life. A garbage truck picking up, a lady walking her dog, homeless person sleeping covered in newspapers in the park, window blinds starting to open in the Brownstone apartments letting the morning light in. Here I sit, I watch.

Nine years ago this city was under attack by a terrorist threat.

What am I doing here? Vacationing with my wife.

My day starts out with a long walk to a French patisserie; I did not know that words like "patisserie" even existed. LePain Quotidien patisserie, sounds French…isn’t that cool…in I-wish-I-could-pronounce-it sort of way. The menu reads organic ingredients, sustainable farming, and baked fresh everyday starting at 3am.

Next, this beautiful Ethiopian waitress with a poetic voice asks “Coffee for two?” “Yes, black please”. My wife orders a latté, I think the French invented the latte, not sure, sounds French.

Music by Vivaldi, four seasons plays over the house speakers, Vivaldi was Italian. I had my photograph taken outside the church he wrote the four seasons in. Beautiful selection music for this café.

Couples seated at their small table with their large coffee cups reading the paper together. Actually leaning into one anther reading the front page of the paper together. Who does that? This is something you only see in movies. Honey lets get up and do the crossword puzzle together. Here in D.C. people share the morning paper in cozy little nooks in quaint French cafés. It’s nice. I suck at the crossword.

Nine years ago this city was under attack by a terrorist threat.

Three days off due to the fact that nobody wants to get married on the anniversary of 9/11. "Anniversary" is an odd word to use for this occasion. No disrespect to those who do, but for me the word anniversary is saved for days of celebration. 9/11 is a day of remembrance.

Day of remembrance is what has brought me to write this.

I did not remember.

I am not in D.C. to pay respect or feel the loss that so many did on that day nine years ago. I am on vacation.

My wife and I randomly picked this city as a short getaway with the little time off we had. Four hour drive, a city neither one of us have been to since our elementary years. What harm? Take a nice drive down route 68 south, have a couple of good meals enjoy the shopping, have a couple of good drinks (J Paul's in Georgetown, good) take a long walk around the capital. Tried to get a tomato out of Michelle Obama's garden (this is not a good idea, do not even joke about this) Tax dollars do fund the garden, that's all I am saying. If you want to get a fresh presidential tomato, handcuffs should not be needed.

After LePain Quotidien, after the tomato fiasco we walked. The city is quiet, clean and green, very green. Trees line every sidewalk; it’s a beautiful sight. The trees provide shade which helps keep the noise down from the roadways. D.C. blended urban development with current eco-thinking, let Mother Nature provide as only she can. Even the hotel we were staying in gave me a seventy dollar discount because we drive a Prius. That felt good. Somewhere I think that somehow Al Gore and I are now closer to each other…

Nine years ago this city was under attack by a terrorist threat.

Nine years ago this city was spared of death, not of loss. The Twin Towers went down in New York City, Pentagon was attacked and a the fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in Pennsylvania after its passengers attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C.

There were no survivors from any of the flights.