Read

This Story Will Change the Way You Remember 9/11

Published:
May 21, 2024
September 11, 2021
Change the way you remember 9/11 by reading this story.|Change the way you remember 9/11 by reading this story.

On this anniversary of the September Eleventh attacks, you’ll see a lot of tributes and memorials and remembrances and analysis. If you read only one thing, though, make sure it is this essay, “Leap,” by Brian Doyle. One hundred years from now, people will still be reading this piece — that’s how good it is.

It’s a very short read — less than 600 words — but it’s an arrow to the heart. Doyle presents with startling specificity one of the darkest moments of that day: trapped by fire high in the World Trade Center buildings, people leaped out of windows and “struck the pavement with such force that there was a pink mist in the air.” Then, within that darkness, he finds a spark of hope — the way two of those people were holding hands:

I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead and the harrowed families of the dead and the screaming souls of the murderers but I keep coming back to his hand and her hand nestled in each other with such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.

Doyle was born in New York City, and he had a friend who died in the attack. For the longest time, he said, he was unable to write about that day. When his kids asked him how he was going to respond, he said it was too terrible and horrifying to try to capture in words. But then they told him that he always said that they should share their gifts with the world and he was a writer and if he didn’t share his writing about this then he wasn’t sharing his gifts with the world. So he sat down and wrote. “Leap” is what came out.

He wrote six other essays about the terrorist attacks on the Eleventh, but “Leap” is what he’ll be remembered for, maybe forever. So give it a read and it will change the way you think about what happened that day. Even better — listen to him read it:

Creators:
Grotto Shares
Published:
May 21, 2024
September 11, 2021
On a related note...
10 Films That Will Shake You Up (In a Good Way)

10 Films That Will Shake You Up (In a Good Way)

Maria Walley

Good and Decent EP 16: After Life

Good and Decent EP 16: After Life

Grotto

How the “God Particle” Inspired this Comic Author

How the “God Particle” Inspired this Comic Author

Grotto

How One Grandfather’s Stories Can Offer Perspective

How One Grandfather’s Stories Can Offer Perspective

Grotto

Remembering Stephen Hawking

Remembering Stephen Hawking

Grotto Shares

Welcome to the Neighborhood: Lincoln Park

Welcome to the Neighborhood: Lincoln Park

Jennon Bell Hoffmann

How I Learned to Love Art Museums

How I Learned to Love Art Museums

Jessica Mannen Kimmet

Louisiana Artist Modernizes Sacred Art

Louisiana Artist Modernizes Sacred Art

Grotto

Volunteering at Code School Makes An Impact | Little Ways: Code

Volunteering at Code School Makes An Impact | Little Ways: Code

Grotto

"Matthew 18:20"

"Matthew 18:20"

Stephanie Konrady

We’re in the ‘Why the Hell Not’ Stage of this Pandemic

We’re in the ‘Why the Hell Not’ Stage of this Pandemic

Mike Jordan Laskey

"The Messages We Receive"

"The Messages We Receive"

Brett Robinson

How Do We Avoid Tech Interfering With Our Humanity?

How Do We Avoid Tech Interfering With Our Humanity?

Erin Spruit

4 Timeless Lessons from Time Spent with an Elderly Friend

4 Timeless Lessons from Time Spent with an Elderly Friend

Bethany Meola

Dancing My Way Back to Me

Dancing My Way Back to Me

Jennon Bell Hoffmann

Without My Daughter, I'd Be a Partial Human

Without My Daughter, I'd Be a Partial Human

Patrick Tomassi

5 Ways to Work Against Assault-Culture

5 Ways to Work Against Assault-Culture

Mary Rose Somarriba

Capturing Beauty Along American Highways

Capturing Beauty Along American Highways

Grotto

A Message to Our Community

A Message to Our Community

Grotto

Losing Patience With This Pandemic? Take Up These Habits

Losing Patience With This Pandemic? Take Up These Habits

Katie Faley

newsletter

We’d love to be pals.

Sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll meet you in your inbox each week.