Remembering 9/11

Twin.Towers_1986Where were you when the world stopped turning?  So says the song by Alan Jackson about the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Even though these events happened 14 years old, I remember that morning as if it was yesterday.

Never before had I felt such chills while watching the news.  Seeing the second airplane fly into the tower was a shock and I instinctively knew something was very wrong.  Little did I or others know that in many ways life would never be the same again. The entire day was then a blur of emotions, sadness, and shock.

I was one of the lucky ones though.  I didn’t know anyone killed in the towers or at the Pentagon, or on the airplane.  I instead mourned for those who did, and held my husband,  family, and friends a little bit tighter.

As a result of this tragedy, we saw the both the best and worst of people.  We also saw a lot of love and appreciation for helping others.  My prayer is that we can remember to help one another, be kind to one another, and continue to love one another.

This photo is one that I posted last year on the anniversary of 9/11.  I took it during one of two chorus trips to New York City in the 1980s.  The first was in the early 1980s and the second trip was in 1986.  Both trips were fantastic.

We saw amazing sights — the United Nations Building, The Statue of Liberty, Macy’s, the Twin Towers, Central Park, and “Cats” on Broadway.  I bought some I Love NY souvenirs and was happy to be there.  It is a great city that I hope to visit again.

I recently read a fascinating book by a man who worked in one of the towers.  He is blind and was there on 9/11 with his guide dog.  They both made it out with several other people from his office and from other offices.  They walked down 1,463 stairs to get out.  At the time, they didn’t know what was happening.  He just knew that they needed to leave the building.

The man’s name is Michael Hingson, the book is “Thunder Dog” and the guide dog was Roselle.  She helped him remain calm enough to keep walking and not panic.  This is an amazing book that I recommend reading.  This experience was part of their story but there has been so much more for both of them since.

And, there has been so much more for all of the survivors.  People continued on with their lives.  This chapter on the stairs mentions a quote from a New York Times editorial from September 12, 2001, “It was one of those moments in which history splits, and we define the world as ‘before’ and ‘after.'”

I hope and pray for those who lived to see after.  May we make the most of our lives and savor each and every moment.  May we appreciate those who worked to protect us and died in the process.  May we appreciate and be thankful for our military who have fought for our nation both before and after.

After all, those who died that day didn’t know it would be their last morning with their families.  May we never take one another for granted.  May we make the most of each and every moment that we are blessed with.  And, may we never forget.

September 11 — What You Did Today

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERASeptember 11 is a day I will never forgot. I think that it’s interesting that today’s photo challenge is What We Did Today.

This is the sunrise I had the pleasure of watching today after dropping my son off from school. I think it is beautiful, don’t you.  I love the sun shining through the clouds.

When we wake up in the morning and start getting ready, the sun is just starting to rise.  Ian often asks me, “Mommy, is it morning yet?”  I will tell him “Yes, and the sun is getting us with us.”  He likes that.

This morning, Ian’s school has their flag at half-staff in honor of the 9/11 victims and their families.  That was a stark and profound reminder of what happened that day.

I can still remember exactly when the 2nd tower was hit and the chills that went through me.  At first it looked like a possible accident, and then, seeing the second plane, I knew it was deliberate. Life has changed quite a bit since then for many of us — especially traveling on airplanes and in other ways as well.

On television shows set in NYC, you can tell if it is pre-2001 or post-2001 because of the inclusion or absence of those towers.  It is still stunning to think they fell and so many people were directly affected and impacted by that.

That particular day I was at work after having celebrating the birth of my niece over the weekend,  Our family was able to celebrate the birth of Rachel.    It was a real blessing for us to see a new life and reason for celebration. She turned 12 a few days ago.

Then of the 9/11/2001, the news of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the plane going down.  So much death and suffering and pain, yet we saw some of the best in people.  True heroes stepped up where help was needed and we pulled together as a nation.  It was truly the best of times and the worst of times.

I hope and pray that we can remember to cherish each and every moment with our families and friends.  We truly don’t know when the last time is that we will see them.  May we never take each other for granted.

This morning when I returned home, I started reading notes and tributes about 9/11 and the tragedy and to never forget.  I also heard the amazing Lee Greenwood song, “God Bless America.”  I have to say I cried as I heard these words:

  • “I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free
  • And I won’t forgot the men who died who gave that right to me
  • And I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
  • Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land, God Bless the USA!”

So fitting for today and for honoring those who were lost.  May we live each day to the fullest and truly appreciate our freedoms.  And, may we never take one another for granted but always tell and show those who we love that we do love them.

May you have a blessed and loving September 11.