Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I don't think anyone in America will ever view the date the same as they did prior to that tragic day. I was in bed when my husband called and said a plane had hit one of the towers. I'll never forget sitting in front of the TV, watching in horror as the events unfolded. I can see the shock on the newcasters faces when the first tower started to fall.

I held my baby girl, feeling such relief, and then guilt, knowing there were some who would never be able to hold their children again. She's ten years old now, in fifth grade, always laughing, and sometimes driving me insane. And then I think about the families who would give anything they possessed to have one more touch, one more glimpse of a loved one lost.

This really hit home for me a few days ago. My CP asked me to go shopping with her. She needed a gown for a formal dinner party. I live about an hour from Washington, so we were going nearby to shop. We missed our turn and had to go through the pentagon parking lot. I could almost see it as it was that day, flames and smoke rising from its side.

Our country changed that day. Through grief and unity we became stronger. And we saw real heroes and heroines in action. I've never been more proud to be an American than when I watched the men and women rushing selflessly to save others, giving their lives so someone else could live. This post is a reminder to myself to stop and remember the men, women, and children who were lost and the families that still grieve. We will never forget.


  1. Anita,
    I was sitting in an apartment in McKinney, Texas writing a historical novel when my sister called to tell me what had happened. Everyone was afraid that there were multiple targets and Dallas might be next. It was so strange seeing NO planes in the sky. My grandson was ten years he is in the less than six months he deploys to help keep another 9/11 from happening again.

  2. Thanks, Anita. I recall hearing the news at work and searching frantically for a radio. I don't think I fully comprehended the extent of what was going on until I heard what people were doing to escape the towers. What I remember most was the feeling of utter disbelief and helplessness.

    Hugs to everyone.

  3. Thank you, Anita. My son was only 9 months old on 9/11. My sister & her husband work in the City. I was finally able to get a hold of her. The lines were very busy as you can imagine. As I was talking to her, relaying what I seeing on the TV, the South Tower fell. I remember telling her in disbelief that I thought the Tower was falling. We got off the phone quickly so that she and her husband could try to get out of the City. My heart goes out to all those directly affected by 9/11 and to everyone whose lives were changed that day including our now 10 year olds. I was holding my baby close on 9/11 also.

  4. It was a Tuesday, and I was on my way to my weekly riding lesson, driving our old truck that could still pull a horse trailer, but didn't have a working radio. When I arrived at the stable, my instructor's wife told me what had happened. At first, I was sure it had to be an accident, but then she told me there were two planes involved. Her last words on the subject were, "There's gonna be a war."

    Her husband, my instructor, is from Pakistan. Normally an outgoing, cheerful fellow, he sat slumped in a chair in the corner of the arena during my lesson as though the weight of the world had fallen on his shoulders. He wasn't alone, of course. I think we all felt that way, but along with all the horror and devastation that followed, that memory remains one of the most vivid.

    When we were in NYC for RWA this summer, I visited the site. If it hadn't been for the collected photos and mementos displayed in the historic church across the street and the Middle Eastern man standing on the corner who sold me two commemorative booklets depicting the tragedy, the WTC site would have seemed like just another construction project. But it wasn't, it was an example of the American spirit doing what it does best: looking forward.

  5. I fully intended to go to Ground Zero when I was in NYC, but I got sidetracked. I still feel guilty about missing it.

    I remember going into the conference room where they had the TV on after the first tower was hit. I'm kind of an optimist so I assumed it was a horrible accident. As I stood there watching the live footage, I saw the second plane hit. My heart fell. I knew then that it was deliberate.

    Back then I worked for an internet provider. The only thing I really remember was that every website I tried to go to was unavailable. CNN/NBC/ABC... everything... oh and getting frustrated at the people who called wondering why they couldn't navigate to any websites on the East Coast.

    The next day I went to a Brooks and Dunn concert at a local county fair. It kind of put things in perspective. Despite the tragedy, America still stood proud and brave.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this, Anita. It's hard to remember, but we can never forget.

  7. I was at the pediatrician with a sick kid. The doctor tried to communicate to me in parent-speak what was going on without alarming my daughter. Somebody called it our generation's Pearl Harbor--we all know exactly where we were, what we were doing. I saw a statistic that 50,000 children went to bed that night having lost a parent, guardian, grandparent or care provider.

    50,000 children...