Nine years ago today, Asia Cottom died in the 9-11 attacks.
I did not know her.
But her sweet, smiling face in the Washington Post in the days thereafter, coupled with her young age - eleven, seared her into my heart. And each September 11th since, she has come to mind.
I think of her boarding that plane, her first ever, to go on that special field trip she earned through her own hard work, a once in a lifetime opportunity, an incredible success story for a child coming up through DC's public schools. Inevitably my thoughts turn to how confused she must have been when the hijack became evident, how scared.
This morning I realized that as of this year, the oldest is older than Asia Cottom. Every then-three year old is, which seems impossible to me. I cannot imagine how much more unfathomable it must seem to Asia Cottom's mother.
And so on this anniversary I'll think of Mrs. Cottom, too, I think.