I've had a hard time celebrating my birthday since I turned 30. I cried all day that day. So since that time, I've tried to stay busy and not think about it. And then, in 2001, it became impossible to celebrate.
How can you think about trivialities and birthdays on the day the world changed? Innocence was lost. Thousands of people died. Our culture was changed.
I stopped celebrating on my birthday. I will celebrate before or after, just not on the day. And I have found that I am not the only one. I've met three other people who share my birthday who do the same thing...celebrate another day.
My family has recognized that fact, but it still upsets my mother. She wrote me a letter a few years ago in which she told me that, while it was a very dark day in American history, September 11, 1958 was one of the happiest days of her life.
As I've cried on almost every birthday for the past 20 something years, I cry today but for an entirely different reason. I cry for the loss of innocence, the loss of lives, the changed landscape. I cry for families facing the day without loved ones who died eight years ago in the towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. I cry for families facing the day without loved ones who have died on foreign battlefields since that day. I cry for the leaders of our country and others who must lead in times of turmoil. And I cry because, while September 11 may represent one of the happiest times in my mother's life, 9/11 is a very sad day for all of us.