Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11...I Remember. I Will Never Forget...

I remember waking up that morning at 6 am to get ready for work, turning on The KTLA Morning News, as I did every day, and seeing these images. At first, I thought it was a clip from some new action flick, so I didn't really pay much attention. I kept going about my morning, making my breakfast, etc.. When I finally sat down to eat & looked back at the T.V., I was transfixed. I truly could not believe that what I was seeing was real. As the full magnitude of what had just happened permeated my mind, I felt my heart begin to race.I knew, without hearing any journalist speak the words, that Bin Laden was responsible. He had not accomplished what he set out to do in '93; this was unfinished business. And, sadly, I also KNEW what this meant for my country.

As I was driving to work, I listened as a flabbergasted DJ screamed "The tower just fell!!" I gasped in horror. I was stupefied. How could this happen in America? How many people have now lost their lives just because they went to work today or boarded a scheduled flight? How could NO ONE have had any inkling that this was about to happen? WHY has this happened? Of course the answers to these questions would become clearer in the coming days, but I am still, seven years later, trying to understand why.

The images of that day are burned into my psyche. They still haunt me. The memories of that day & those that followed are still so visceral. I recall everything becoming so eerily still & quiet. All the planes were grounded. Co-workers of Middle Eastern descent, walked around with their heads down & would barely speak to anyone. I scarcely even recollect hearing any birds singing. It's almost as if they knew that our world, our lives, had been forever & irrevocably changed; that even their sweet songs could not break the deafening, black silence that had overtaken us.

I recall the elation I felt upon hearing someone had been pulled from "The Pile" alive. I also remember the inexplicable sadness when they stopped finding anymore victims. I recall the heartbreaking faces of the husbands, wives, mothers, fathers & children who were searching in vain for their loved ones. Those who were hoping against hope that they would find them alive. I remember. I remember. I will never forget. I cannot.

At that time, my husband was Non-Active Reserve, Air Force. I fearfully waited for a call from the base telling us he had been re-activated. Fortunately for us, that call never came. But many other families just like mine were not so lucky.

In the 7 years since 9/11, I have become a mother. She is now 3 1/2 and one of the great loves of my life. I wonder about what her life would have been like if the attacks had never happened. I also ponder what changes are in store for her growing up in a post 9/11 world. How will her childhood differ from mine & her Daddy's? Are terrorist & Osama Bin Laden going to be words that she understands before she is 5? What kind of country have these evil acts left for our children to inherit?

This past week-end, My husband & I watched "World Trade Center" & "Flight 93". For whatever reason, these two films affected me in a very profound way. I sobbed through them both. Lately, I find myself having extremely visceral reactions to anything 9/11 related. Maybe it is because I am a Mom now. Maybe it is because it has been 7 years and they still can't find Bin Laden. I don't truly understand it myself. I only know that this event was my generation's Pearl Harbor, and for us, now, September 11th is our Memorial Day.


I remember. I remember. I will never forget.

God bless us all. God bless our troops. God bless America.



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2 comments:

24hrdreamer said...

Very well said. Its amazing something like that happened here in our country.

Cheryl Podolsky said...

My husband had received an invitation to attend the financial technology conference that was being held that fateful morning...but was "too busy to be bothered with it." Lucky for him and us. Everyone in attendance that day, on that floor and at that time, were never found again.

Workaholic nut that he is, he remained downtown in his office on Broad Street, because he said that with everyone having left, he could get a whole lot more work done. He left the office at around 6 p.m., I think -- ankle deep in papers that had been blown from the various companies that only a few hours before had been buzzing in the WTC's towers -- and made it home by 9:30 or so, smelling from smoke and fire.

 

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