Friday, September 11, 2009

May We Never Forget

My son was 8 at the time and I had just dropped him off at school. I took my daughter, not yet 2, into the living room and gave her some toys and turned on the television. It was my usual habit on weekday mornings to give her some television time with Bear In The Big Blue House or Winnie The Pooh, or something similar while I did a quick bit of house cleaning.

The television was still on the channel we had been watching the night before, but was showing the local news. Before I could click over to Disney or PBS, a burning building caught my eye. I didn't know what building or where, but there was a lot of smoke.

With my daughter content, I went into the kitchen and turned on the television to find out more about the burning building. Along the bottom of the screen it said "World Trade Center, New York City". The picture never left the screen, but the newscasters were explaining that a plane had accidentally hit The World Trade Center. I assumed it had been a small plane with an inexperienced pilot. Moments later, to my sickening horror, I watched the live broadcast of another plane striking the other tower. Like everyone else witnessing this unthinkable atrocity, I knew immediately that this was a terrorist attack.

I remember shaking and feeling numb. How could this have happened? Were there more planes setting course for more buildings in other cities? My husband was at work at the Renaissance Center, the tallest building in the Detroit skyline, was he in danger? I wanted to talk to him right away. I needed to talk to him.

I'm not sure exactly what words I said, but "terrorist attack" and "please come home" were among them. He and his coworkers had no idea of the events taking place in New York. There were several calls back and forth before he told me they were evacuating the building and he was on his way home. A bomb had been found in the tunnel between Detroit and Canada. The tunnel runs alongside the Renaissance Center.

As the day rolled on, everything became more and more frightening. The Pentagon had been attacked, a plane had abruptly discontinued communication somewhere over the Midwest, and the Trade Center towers collapsed. I couldn't close my eyes without seeing that horrible image of people running down the street nearly enveloped in smoke and debris. It still haunts me. I think it still haunts all of us.

The next day, the church bells in our small town rang out at 8:46 am and 9:47 am in memory of those who lost their lives. People stood outside their homes and wept as they listened. On Main Street, those who were driving pulled to the side of the road until the bells ceased.

I don't know a single soul who was in the World Trade Center, The Pentagon or United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001 but I still feel profoundly sad on this day. May we never forget.


Chicago Mom said...

Amen. God bless those people who died and those who knew them and are missing them today.

Purple Flowers said...

I live in NJ about 30 mins. away (in suburbia) from the Wall St. area. We watched it on our computers at work, and one girl and I held hands as we watched the first tower collapse, then the second. We were silent w/tears in our eyes. I saw ground zero in person months later, when it was a big 15 acre hole in the ground. It made me cry. I ate dinner in one of the towers restaurant at the very top for a celebratory occasion for work. The scenery was beautiful. On 9/11, I hope God was there to catch everyone and bring them home with him.

Lissaloo said...

I remember exactly where I was and exactly what I was doing when a neighbor pulled up and told us what was happening, and I will never forget the horror I felt. We didn't have any channels out in the boonies so we drove to my Aunts house a few minutes away to watch. God bless all those who helped, who died and who are missing their loved ones today. Thank you for such a heart felt post.

Donna-FFW said...

I also remember exactly where I was..what a lovely post you made today. So heartfelt and touching.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I remember it like it was yesterday. I'm sad too.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I can barely type, my eyes are full of tears; thank you for sharing. I think that this event will be like the Kennedy assasination for my mom's generation, it's something everyone remembers where they were when it happened and it stole much of our innocence as a nation.

PurpleHoodieChick said...

It's amazing how much it effected you at the time while I was only like 8 or 9 and had no idea what was even happening. I just remember my mom getting me after school saying she had something important to tell me. I'm SO SO SO SO glad Mr. Willoughby was okayy.=]

5thsister said...

I was at the gym, running on a treadmill. My son was in childwatch and my daughter at school. Stunned silence followed when every treadmill, ellipticle, weight training machine, etc. grinded to a halt. When it dawned on me what exactly I was witnessing I sprang into action and immediately picked up my son, made arrangements for my daughter's return home, called my husband and went to go pray in the chapel before the blessed and most Holy Eucharist. My sister was in DC at the time and could not get back home to Topeka. She ended up sharing a rental car with total strangers in order to make their way home. I also remember the eerie silence when all air traffic was halted. I thank God every day for the heroes that risked and/or sacrificed their lives for our safety and freedom. Thank you for this post.