Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11 today and everyday....

I still remember and, always will, where I was when I heard the news on
September 11th, 2001....

The day was always a special day to me because my first child was born on September 11th. Michael was turning 5 on that fateful day in 2001. I was trying to get out of work early so I could get things together for a family gathering to celebrate that evening.

And then a co-worker blurted those words that changed a day of celebration to a day of dread.


"Something just crashed into the World Trade Center, maybe a plane?"


Everybody started chatting nervously as we tried to find out more information. Websites were overburdened and down. Radio stations were unsure of exactly what was happening. Confusion was everywhere.
Another crash, people jumping to their deaths, towers falling. Chaos.


The pentagon being hit by a plane.
My co-worker's son just had gotten a job at the pentagon. Tears as she tried to find out if he was okay, but no word, just busy signals and more tears from a mother wondering if her son was dead or alive..something a mother should never have to wonder...

(He was fine we eventually found out. )


I was a state away from my son on his 5th birthday working while he was happily enjoying the first full week of kindergarten anticipating his birthday party set for that evening. Everybody was anixious to get home...some of us had to cross a major bridge to get back to loved ones and it occured to us that if this was indeed a terriorist attack, there were possibly targets in our area...

Unlikely, but never say never.


I was never so happy to be home as I was that day.
I picked up my son early from school and spent the afternoon with him.

He was blissfully unaware of the events.

We played in the backyard as mother and sons sometimes do and as we did,
I listened to the silence of the world amid the outburst of giggles of a 5 year old.

No planes...

we almost always heard planes when we were outside, but all had been grounded by then.

SILENCE.

An eerie sound on a devastating day.
We went on to quietly celebrate my son's 5th birthday keeping the
tragic reality of terrorism, only a state away,
from our happy go lucky little 5 year old.


It was such a guilty pleasure knowing so many were suffering...

wondering if their sons, daughters, spouses, parents were ever coming home while we enjoyed the company of our family.



I wished I could go to each of those suffering and

help in some small way bring peace to them.


Over time I have watched the stories. Pregnant women whose unborn children will never know their fathers. Mothers who have lost their children. Grandparents just never came home one day after going into work.

There loss is my loss, I feel them all.

I feel for them all.

I seek out their stories even now, seeing how they have coped. Seeing some flourish and some fail. These stories are heartbreaking, and they are never far from my thoughts.

NEVER.

Within months of the attacks, my friend JoAnn and I were able to go to New York City. We went to see Phantom of the Opera with my sister in law, Jen and her husband Harry...


but JoAnn and I had other plans as well.


We both felt compelled to visit Ground Zero to experience the devestation first hand. To KNOW exactly what the people were going through in the city...


to feel it.


And I can tell you it was one of the most moving experiences of my life.


To see first hand the destruction that others can bring

to us,

to our country

was


SURREAL.

It brought havoc and unrest to my soul knowing

that others could plot such crime against humanity right in our backyard.

Fences lined with posters of the missing along with prayers by well wishers, people crying overwhelmed by emotion, buildings destroyed, the smell of destruction in the air...

it was moving in ways that words will never express.

But amongst that darkness and devestation,

there were people with hope, love, compassion, support, prayers

it was an amazing to see and experience.


It was as if NYC had been enveloped in an huge hug from the world.
Well wishers had come from everywhere....

I mean everywhere

leaving notes of support, love, prayers, t-shirts blessing NYC...

And to watch the NYC firetrucks leave for the day after relentless search and recovery efforts, knowing they themselves had lost many members from their squadrons, but tirelessly worked to bring the lost home.

It was a moment that takes your breathe away knowing how hard

their mission must be to complete after so much loss.





I felt outwhelming pride to be a witness to heroism first hand on that day.

And as the sun set on a bitter cold rainy day in New York City,

I saw the greatest vision amongst the rubble and wreckage.

Behold the American Flag

...our flag, my flag, your flag

draped on a damaged building reminding us...

Freedom is not free...there is a cost...a great cost.
And that we can be shaken, but we are UNITED not matter what happens. We may be divided by religion, politics, etc. but when it counts, we rally together.

We are the people of the United States of America,

and

your loss is my loss.
Since 9/11/01, many things have changed in my life. I have lost my grandfather to cancer. Two of my grandparents have suffered debilitating strokes. I have had a daughter, my stepson drives now....
and today, September 11th it is still a day of celebration as my son turns from a child to a teenager on his 13th birthday...

but some things remain unchanged
for I will never ever forget the events of
September 11th, 2001.


Your loss was my loss. My loss is your loss.
We are united, and united we will stand.
That remains unchanged forever.








2 comments:

Samkay said...

Wow. I didn't realize that yea, Mike would have been turning 5 that year. I remember sitting on my mom's bed watching the news of what happened since we were 3 hours behind you guys. She remembering her crying and telling me that there was a plane that crashed into the pentagon as well, which is where at the time I think my dad's cousin was working. I went to third grade crying cuz I wasn't sure what happened to my dad's cousin Kelly. That was a scary day =/

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