​​​Miriam E.Tucker

Terrible Tuesday
(The Washington Post, September 16, 2001)

I live about 15 miles from the punctured Pentagon.  My next-door neighbors Mario and Connie often have invited me over for dinner.  I typically decline, too busy in my daily life.  This time, I accepted.  
In their apartment was another neighbor, a woman I'd seen and greeted in passing, but had never spoken to long enough to learn her name (it's Eva).  We all sat, ate, drank, and watched the still-incomprehensible TV coverage. Video of the two planes slicing through the towers, again and again.  Later, President Bush tried to reassure us. 
But the president had competition in Mario and Connie's apartment:  Their 2-year-old son, Paolo.  Delighted to have outside company, he was in full performance mode, riding his Big Wheel in circles, laughing and squealing.  
He was completely oblivious to the day's events, reminding us that purity and innocense still do exist in the world, and that we have no choice but to move on.  ###