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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9-11. I'll Never Forget

September 11, 2001 started for me like most mornings. I saw my husband off to work and settled into the chair to nurse our son. He was four months old. The night before I had laid him on his quilt on the floor and we watched him endlessly rolling over from his front to back and giggle like crazy. So that morning after he nursed, I put him down on his back and he instantly popped over onto his front and just grinned and giggled again. I was laughing with him and he rolled from front to back, back to front over and over. Once he started exploring his toys I sat back into the chair thinking about getting a little breakfast for myself and turned on the TV. I watched the Today show back then and when the picture came up as the TV powered on the first tower had just been hit and Matt Lauer  was just beginning to report that some kind of accident had happened and that they had people on their way over to find out more details while the cameras were showing the smoke billowing out of the side of the building. As the reports started to come in that it may have been a large passenger plane and not a smaller plane as initially believed, I think I was more confused than anything. Of course moments later the second plane flew into the second tower right in front of me on the screen and confusion instantly turned to shock and fear. I don't remember ever getting that breakfast. After that I was too stunned to do much else but watch in horror as the replayed the second tower hit in slow motion. By then everyone knew this was no accident, but it was still so unbelievable that it felt more like an action-adventure, disaster movie. Then the reports of the third plane started coming in. I know my fear level skyrocketed when they announced it had crashed into the Pentagon. If they could hit the Pentagon what would stop them from hitting the White House? Or anywhere for that matter. At some point I picked up my son and just held him while tears streamed down my face. I was stuck to my seat all day... getting up only to feed and change the baby, put him in his swing, on the floor, in his bassinette to nap...

When I saw the first tower to collapse begin to go down I screamed. All I could think about was how many people were dying right before my eyes. I knew that it was only a matter of time before the other tower would fall as well. It was only a small miracle or blessing to later learn that the towers had not been as full as usual that morning. That was just a tiny sliver of any good we heard that day. Learning of Flight 93 going down in that field brought more horror and tears. Not knowing where those planes had come from, how many more might be out there looking for targets, not knowing why it was happening or who was doing it was so frightening. We live just an hour away from an International airport and planes fly over our house all the time. The silence of there not being ANY planes flying over us those first few days after they were all grounded ,was eerie. Once they began flying again, for a long time it was hard not to be afraid whenever we heard a plane overhead, especially one flying at a lower altitude.
.When my husband came home from work we sat on the couch together just watching the footage and reports continue through the night. I couldn't stop the tears that seemed to endlessly stream down my face. Sleep did not come easily that night or for many, many nights afterwards. We woke on the 12th knowing that our Country had been changed forever. Some of our innocence was lost. Our faith was not lost, but shaken. Our son would never know life BEFORE Sept 11, 2001.

Something that I will never forget was that before that day was over, the people of this Country pulled together in unity and showed their courage, strength and faith. We stood together as one even in grief and horror. Differences were put aside, helping hands reached out, we looked at our Flag with renewed pride. On this anniversary of one of the most horrific days our Country, it is those positive things I think about. While I will never forget the horror, the loss, the pain, I will also never forget the courage, strength and unity. Those are some of the elements that have always made our Country great. Today, even as I remember the September of 2001, I pray for the future. I pray that We the People find our Courage, Strength and Pride to return this Country to a place of honor and respect.


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