Days go by on the calendar with little thought to them generally. We cross them off our monthly calendars. We rip them off our daily calendars. But sometimes dates become more than a day. They become moments. Moments that linger with you forever.
There was 9/11. Many things are still discussed as “pre-9/11” or “post-9/11.” With each phrase comes the understanding that things changed after that day.
Which brings us to today. To many in the nation, 4/27 is just another April day. To those in the Southeast, and those that I specifically think of in Tuscaloosa, it was a day that changed our lives.
It’s difficult to write about such things with the terror that plagued Boston so recently. It’s different when someone chooses to evoke fear from you rather than be the unlucky target of nature. I get that. But alas, it’s the two year anniversary, and I would be remiss not to remember this day. It is my hope that sincerity is not mistaken for something else.
Things have changed in Tuscaloosa since that day. While we knew it would never be the same, the thought never completely wrapped around my head. At the time, Tuscaloosa was strewn about. Places I had frequented for 10 years were flattened and unrecognizable. Twelve percent of the city was destroyed. Forty-three lives.
Seven hundred and thirty days have passed. Tuscaloosa is different now. 15th Street is still much darker at night than it was. Grass grows in many areas where homes once stood.
While the physical makeup of the city has changed, the core of Tuscaloosa has also. We became a community of resolve and hope. One that refuses to bend. Houses have been rebuilt. Stores have reopened. And the heart of Tuscaloosa continues to beat. Stronger than ever before.