9/11 Thoughts and Memories

Simply danLrene signia911_fountain_memorialimage from trendsphotos.net

I have sat here today thinking about 9/11 and remembering how I heard about it. In life there are certain events that will stick with you forever.  The Vietnam war is probably the first as I watched the draft and my friends sent off to war.  Another event seared into my brain was the Kennedy assassinations.  I was in Junior high school when it happened and our principal announced it over the intercom. The day that the shuttle “The Challenger” exploded and all those on board died is another one. I was teaching kindergarten and the principal rolled televisions to the hallway on each end of the small school so that teachers could look out and see what the news was saying. There was a teacher in that explosion and so it hit teachers hard on two levels. And 9/11 I remember because we were coming in from the cancer center and I turned on the answering machine and heard my mother’s voice telling me to turn on the TV as we had been bombed.

It was almost like slow motion as I watched the videos being shown on the news and life seemed to be surreal. I remember the shock and horror as I felt sick to my stomach. And my mind raced with the unanswered questions. I wanted to know why, how this could have happened, what will we do, and where would it happen next. We were supposed to be so strong. I believe 9/11 forever changed our world. Our secure feeling was shattered.

The most positive thing I remember about 9/11 was that in spite of the horror, our country came together in a way I had not seen in my lifetime. Political bickering ended and people seemed to work in harmony “FOR” the good of our country. We were no longer divided by politics, religion, race or anything else. We were coming back strong. The sad part was that as time moved on and the memories seemed to fade for many, that harmony began to dissipate and people forgot that our safety on our home front had been attacked.

I remember watching Mayor Rudy Giuliani as he worked tirelessly trying to coordinate things. I was so impressed with how hard he worked to bring the city together into some sort of calm so that hunting survivors, cleaning up, giving support to the families who had loved ones that were missing, going to ground zero and talking with those first responders were all being covered. I have to give kudos for he did an amazing job. This does not mean that nothing went wrong. It simply meant that Guiliani was fully invested in taking charge and orchestrating the work needed to be done in such a horrible time.

The First Responders were amazing. People came and volunteered to help. Some came and brought their trained dogs to help in the searches. People were fully invested, fully involved in finding every person they could and in cleaning up the damage that was done. When there is a strong leader like Guiliani, people feel a small percent of that safety that we used to feel for at least someone was leading and helping to distill the panic and fear and organize all the different segments that needed taking care.

As I sit on this anniversary, I am struck by the fact we are once again in a precarious position with the threats against our country, our government and our people. I see some people putting aside personal feelings and trying to work together. And I see some that are still polarized and fighting over things that are just not that important. It scares me that our borders are still open. It scares me that we have no plan…no real plan…of what to do. And it scares me that many of our future leaders…the young people in college…do not even know what is going on over seas or even remember 9/11.

I love my country and believe in my country. I believe that as long as people are divided, we will not conquer. What is that quote “United we stand….divided we fall”.  If there is no real unity throughout the country, through our government and no real plan other than air strikes, then my question is “Will we be united enough?”

My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of all those that died in 9/11 at the towers, at the Pentagon and on the plane that crashed in PA. There is nothing that can replace them. This is why it is so important we not ever fall into that complacency again so that this does not ever happen again. We owe it to all the victims of 9/11 and their families to make sure this never happens again.

My thanks to all the First Responders, to all the firefighters and rescue people, to all the medical people, to all the Therapists that came to help give support to those so traumatized, to all the government employees, to all the people of religions who set up places for people to come to, to all the people who helped people in finding their loved ones and to all who volunteered to help us through this time…just everyone that was there. You are heroes in my eyes: People pulling together and fighting for the common cause.

It has taken me all day to write this because I wanted to give justice to what happened but my mind would go back to that day and relive it and relive the emotions. To all those lost in 9/11 ….you will never be forgotten in our homes and in our hearts..

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