I’m sure every other blog in the blogosphere has their 9/11 Tribute today. I’m sure some are amazingly moving and some are annoying. Some are political and some are emotional. Some are remembrances, some are filled with anger & vitriol. But all, I think, are important. What happened to our country five years ago was unthinkable. Unprecedented. Something we never even imagined would happen on US soil. But it did. And we are all still healing.
That morning, I was putting on my makeup in the room that would, in about a year’s time, become Maggie’s room. It was kind of a junk room then, but I’ve always like applying my makeup while sitting down, so I would sit at the desk in there & put my makeup on while listening to our local talk radio station – WLS. At about 7:50 or so, they started talking about a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers. “Well, that’s weird,” I thought as I went back down to our bedroom to tell Steve and turn on MSNBC. Steve got caught up with what had happened – and we watched incredulously as smoke poured from that building. At that point, of course, everything that was being said was speculative – something about a small aircraft and stuff like that. After watching for about 2 minutes, Steve said, very quietly, “That was no accident.” And, being the good & supportive wife I am, I pooh-poohed him – not thinking there was any way something like that could happen on purpose. I watched for another couple of minutes, but I had to get Maggie to preschool in about 1/2 hour, so back to the makeup table. But, before I could finish turning around, I saw another plane. And before I could even drop my jaw, it hit. Lower down. A ball of flame that I couldn’t comprehend. I gasped – I remember it. And I just said, “Oh my God, oh my God.” “No accident…..” repeated Steve. “That’s no accident. Somebody meant to do this.” It’s always been amazing to me how astute, wise and discerning my husband is. He KNEW. Right away. This was no accident. And he knew it wasn’t over yet, either. My head was in a big, huge fog as I got 3 year old Maggie finished for school, 5 month old Steven fed and everybody in the car to go to school. As we’re turning on the street to her school, the radio reports the Pentagon hit. Now…I’m panicked. Should I take her to school…..? I feel like the whole world is freaking out. I drop Maggie off and call Steve. I tell him to come home. He realistically tells me that nobody’s targeting his office building in the suburbs. So, I go home with Steven and watch the TV. I can’t turn it off. And I watch with my jaw clanging on the floor as the 1st tower goes down at 9:00. This was beyond my comprehension. Watching those towers come down, burying thousands of people – some of them still alive. I….just……I still can’t believe it. Just one after another – huge steel monoliths that you think would still be there thousands of years from now. They just…..fell. All the rescue workers trapped under there. I just watched it all & couldn’t imagine anyone being pulled out of there alive.
A friend of mine called then – she could no longer deal with this on her own – neither could I, as a matter of fact. So, I packed up Steven and we went over to her house to watch CNN and talk about what on earth was going on. We couldn’t figure it out. We cried and freaked out and went over every scenario we could think of. Just freaking out. It’s amazing how our minds work. Five years isn’t really very long, is it? Shouldn’t we all be really fresh about that memory and stuff? I remember how, after that all happened, how we really seemed to come together as Americans. Makes me think of when the body is injured, how the blood goes to protect the vital organs – it kind of contracts in on itself. That’s what I think of when I think of that time. All of us had something to stand for – to stand up against – to be outraged about – to be united about. We couldn’t believe that a group had the AUDACITY to attack us like that. There was no way we were going to sit back and let somebody attack us like that. We grieved as a nation. Four planes went down. Three buildings full of people were destroyed. People lost their mothers, their fathers, their brothers & sisters, their mom & dads – children left with no parents. Spouses left without their partners. Having to figure out how to go on. But here we sit, five years later, and all it seems we can do is attack one another. There are groups of people out there who are still, to this day, trying to figure out how to hit us again. Thankfully, none of them have been successful. But they’re still trying. Everyday, they’re trying. They’re waiting and testing and someday they’re going to try again. So why are we trying to rip each other apart? Why are we doing their job for them?
The one thing I noticed the most when we watched United 93 the other night was how all the people on the plane were calling people – not to denounce the government or make political demands or leave a last speech for play on the evening news. No, they were calling the people who were important to them. And telling them how much they loved. Making sure those people wouldn’t doubt for a second that they were loved. And then they all sacrificed themselves, knowing full well they wouldn’t survive, so that these terrorists would fail in their attempt to annihilate another building filled with Americans. So my 9/11 message is this. Don’t forget. Don’t forget what it felt like that morning to feel those feelings. Don’t forget what it felt like afterwards to come together as a country to work through it & protect ourselves. Don’t forget that the threat is still out there. Don’t live in fear and worry, but don’t forget.Tweet