Thursday, September 11, 2014

I will never forget....

September 11, 2001

As I awoke this morning to get ready for school, I immediately turned on the radio (good ole' Z103).  And from that split second, the day became like no other before (or since) it! 

"It has been confirmed.  A plane has crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center." 

To be honest, I had no idea what that meant.  But I knew it was bad!  I ran upstairs to turn on the TV.  Booger (my brother by nickname) beat me to it.  I asked him what was going on.  "I have no idea" was his response.  Without quite understanding what happened.  I heard it.  I felt it.  This was worse than bad.  The news reporters, usually so posed under the live pressures of their jobs, had panic-ridden voices.  Then I saw it.  I watched the second plane crash into the South Tower.  It was terrifying!  I know how I felt watching it through the television, I cannot imagine being in the middle of New York City and seeing (or experiencing) it first hand. 
I got this picture from HERE.  Please click it and read that amazing story!!

My mom came into the room, apparently fresh from the shower which is why she didn't know what was going on.  I turned and asked her what the World Trade Centers were. 


"Because some planes just crashed into them."

Tears.  She turned to the TV and started crying.  My question wasn't answered in that moment, but my fears were confirmed. 

"Another plane has crashed into the Pentagon!"

I knew what that was.  My heart stopped, I'm sure.  I knew what was going on now.  The towers are on fire.  People in the buildings were so terrified of collapsing or burning they began to jump...thinking it would save them?  Thinking it'd be better than burning or suffocated?  I don't know.  What a terrible feeling to be feeling in that moment.  I can only begin to try to imagine. The South collapses, then the North. 
I didn't want to go to school.  I wanted to stare at the news all day.  Get all the information and, in my little "gotta think things through even if I don't and won't understand them brain" try and "get it!"  I did go though.  I've never had a day of school like that before.  People were crying.  In the morning announcements they said something about what happened and to try and focus but there were the school counselors if we needed it.  Some teachers let us watch the news during their class.  One even said,

"I am not going to sit here and pretend like we aren't affected by what's happening in the world this morning.  We are.  This is your 'Pearl Harbor' and I promise you, you will never forget it and always be affected by it!"

Boy was she right.  I sit here today, 13 years later, writing this..from the beginning..because it is etched in my brain, never to be forgotten, even if I wanted to..which I don't.  This changed me.

We watched the firefighters and officers working, even beyond their call of duty, to help who and where they could.  They went above and beyond and I am sure there are so many, many who are grateful for that.

In the hours and days that followed, the television was plastered with videos of what was going on.  The stories of those last-minute phone calls to loved ones from the hijacked airplanes were more than heart-wrenching.  How do you do that?!?!  What do you say to that person who is calling you?? There were so many lives lost inside those buildings, people who worked there and those heroes who lost their lives in the attempt to save others.  There were many who I felt like I knew.  I don't say that to be disrespectful to their friends and family.  I say it to emphasize that although there was so much wrong on that day, the news covered those people and their lives beautifully!  One thing I noticed was the immediate patriotism that was across the country.  It was beautiful.  Really.  But I kept (and still do) wondering why?  Why in the world does it take something like this for Americans to come together?  To show love, support, and kindness to one another?  It shouldn't!  But it is beautiful to see and feel.

September 11, 2014

I took the kids to school today and the immediately asked about the flags up today.  I explained to them what the World Trade Towers were, and the Pentagon.  I told them about the people that hijacked the airplanes and flew them into those buildings. 

They know that thousands of people, inside the buildings, the firefighters and police officers, and those aboard the flights, lost their lives that day because of the actions of others.  Gage said, "Well they had to know they would probably die too." (those who hijacked the plane).  I then briefly explained what a "suicide mission was".  Taya said, multiple times, "That is so sad!  There might have been kids on the airplanes who died little."  Then, "Oh that's sad!  So many kids without their mom or dad.  Those poor kids!"  And over and over again, "So sad!"  I am so glad I talk to my kids. I love that we can talk about anything, serious or silly, and they know I will answer the questions they ask. 

I sit here looking through pictures from that day or in remembrance of it, and the emotions are surfaced again.  I remember it like it's happening right now.  I hope my kids never have to live through something like that, though I'm sure they will.  I was a Junior in high school and was not prepared for it. Can you ever really be?    The radio stations used to play hours of music, the songs that were written and performed after this incident.  I always used to listen to them on these days.  But they don't anymore.  People don't seem to talk about it as often as they used to.  Why not?  How could they have forgotten the impact?  I know I didn't.  This is etched in my soul for forever.
The four photos without captions~

I am saddened for the families who lost loved ones that day.  I am angered that so many lives were taken! I am filled with gratitude for the actions of the heroes that day and the lives they were able to save, both those who lived through it and those who didn't.  Many people's lives wouldn't be the same without them. 

I salute you!
I found the picture here at Our Perfectly Imperfect Life, but has the full collection of photos.
"On 9/11, the New York City Police Department lost 23 officers. The Port Authority police lost 37. The FDNY's dead numbered 343. Here, firefighter Tony James cries while attending the funeral service for New York Fire Department chaplain Mychal Judge at New York's St. Francis of Assisi Church, September 15, 2001. Photographer Joe Raedle, who attended and photographed funerals for weeks after September 11, told of this shot: "Anytime you see a fireman or a symbol of strength breaking down like that, it resonates." In fact, Raedle's photograph, with its ghostly echoes of James' salute surrounding his tear-streaked face, speaks to how millions of people around the world felt in the days and weeks after the attacks: namely, that strength was what we all needed most, and that it was the one thing that was hardest to find."
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images )

For the full photo collection, go to

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the comment from your teacher. It really was like our Pearl Harbor. I'm grateful that the outcome wasn't as horrific, but it's just as traumatic.