The Hartford Courant asked several key political figures how Sept. 11 unfolded for them. Former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd gave this account via written statement:
My memories of Sept. 11 and the days that followed are of powerfully mixed emotions. Our first daughter, Grace, was born just two days after the attacks, and I remember holding her in my arms in the hospital maternity ward in Arlington, watching from the window as smoke rose from the Pentagon, and trying to balance joy with fear.
Grace is named for her grandmothers, but it also seemed as though grace was what we all needed in those terrible first hours, as the immense and horrifying toll of that day became clear. Over a hundred people from Connecticut had lost their lives, and as I talked later with one mother who had lost her own child on Sept. 11, I felt helpless as I asked whether there was anything, anything I could do. Hug your daughter, she said. I did.
Grace is a tall, lovely, soon-to-be 10-year-old now, and she and her sister Christina astonish me each day with their energy and wisdom. America and Americans have endured two wars, the loss of millions of jobs, a global crisis in our financial system, and more, and we remain standing, though it has surely not been easy. Thousands of families are still learning to live without the fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers they lost on Sept. 11.
If I wondered then, at first, into what kind of world Grace had been born, my fears lifted in talking with the doctors who had attended her birth. They were born in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Lebanon, and had come to America in search of the opportunity and freedom that are and have always been the enduring promises of this nation. In that awful week we all felt proud to be Americans, and I knew that as long as America did not abandon its faith in the ideals that had brought them to our shores, neither terrorists nor their weapons could change who we are, or what we stand for. I believe that still.
This piece was originally posted on the Hartford Courant's website and can be read in its original format here.