ORIGINALLY, I PLANNED to write this column about San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sam Coonrod.

I had never heard of Coonrod until a few days ago, when he made headlines for standing while his teammates kneeled for a Black Lives Matter ceremony.

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I’m thankful for a lot of things, not the least of which is the fact tomorrow is Friday.

I jumped a little ahead of today’s “thankful” prompt with yesterday’s post, with personal recollections about a group of people for which most of the world is thankful so I thought today might be a good time for another post from the Casey’s Column archives.

Click the underlined words in this sentence for a look inside my mind on a night two years ago when I went outside to look at the stars and count my blessings.

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I have tried to gather my thoughts on what has happened in America in the last week.

I have not been able to gather them well yet, I don’t think.

I know I haven’t gathered them well enough for rational comment, other than the next few sentences.

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It was just another Tuesday, and I was just another 15-year-old sophomore in high school.

My mind had little regard for anything except girls, sports, what I’d eat for lunch and how I’d get through math class.

I didn’t have a cell phone or a driver’s license.

I was nowhere near New York City or the World Trade Center.

Terrorism was just a word.

I’m 32 now. Things are different.

I know you might skim this story on your cell phone. I know you might be too young to remember what happened.

Maybe you weren’t even born.

Maybe all you know about Sept. 11, 2001, came from what you’ve seen on social media or heard in history class.

My friend wrote a column about Sept. 11 last week, in which she made a wonderful point about what I remember most from the the day’s aftermath. I’ve thought about you since I read it. I thought about you again this morning, when I saw an Instagram post from a history teacher who had students interview someone who has a clear memory of what happened 17 years ago today to help them see a different picture of one of America’s most disasterous days.

I’ll never forget what unfolded in those hours.

If you can’t remember, and you have a minute to spare, I’d like to try to take you to a time when the history you’ve heard was just heartbreak. (more…)