Even during the worst of it, it doesn't compare.
Not when I was frantically driving from store to store trying to find water for my young nephews who were in Toledo for a week-long visit.
Not when I made the early-morning call to the nursing facility where my mother lives to check on her safety, and inquire about emergency policies and preparedness.
Not when I was forced to pay $10 a case for water, after an hour-long wait for a delivery truck.
Not when I had to supervise my nephews as they brushed their teeth because I was afraid they would forget to use bottled water.
Not when the plastic bottles began piling up, and I desperately turned to social media for downtown recycling options.
Was the water crisis stressful? Yes. Were we all inconvenienced? Sure. Did we ponder the lasting ramifications and future of our water system? Certainly. Just like me, you all have stories about how your lives were adversely affected during the do-not-drink advisory.
But September 11, 2001, it wasn't.
So as I sat in Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins' office Monday, and listened as he repeatedly compared the water crisis to the day terrorists intentionally flew planes into American landmarks, I was a bit dumbfounded.
“While we didn't have a terrorist attack, we had an environmental attack,” he said.
I understand that Mayor Collins views the water crisis as a call to action to address the long-standing pollution problem in Lake Erie. I also understand that this was, and remains, a momumental event for his administration and our region.
But there are 100 reasons why our water problems are nothing like 9/11. And there are 1,000 reasons why our mayor should have never made such a poor analogy. Yet he doubled down on it, when one of my colleagues tried to give him an out.
Mayor Collins is deservedly being skewered on social media and in the reader comments on The Blade's Web site. His comparison was in poor taste, especially because he is a former police officer. He should have considered, at least for a moment, the impact of 9/11: the loss of life, the structural and emotional destruction, the trauma felt by the first responders, and the families who had to bury their loved ones.
Nothing compares to 9/11. I can only hope someone pulled the mayor's sleeve today, and that he is rethinking his cringe-worthy characterization.