Sunday, September 11, 2011

Forever in our Memories

"Where were you when the world stopped turnin'
that September day?"

     September 11, 2001 I was walking in to my high school and saw everyone crowded around the television in the library. I remember sitting down in the 'library' and watching as they showed video clips of the WTC on fire. After a while we were told to head to our class rooms where we could continue to watch the coverage. After seeing the towers collapse I broke down crying and went in to the hall way. I attempted to call my family but my cell phone wasn't working. I went to another teacher's room to call my mom. I needed reassurance that my family in NY and NJ were okay. Everyone, thank God, was okay. I can remember so clearly where I was and what was happening on the television. I can remember the intense feelings I had as I found out that my home was being attacked. NY is my home, this country is my home. I felt sad, devastated, angry, betrayed. So many things all at once. All I could think was how could this be happening to us?
     Everyone has a story. Most people can remember exactly where they were when they found out about the attack on the United States. Whether you were there, knew someone was there, or were just watching the TV, you were affected. You don't need a 'connection' to be affected, your connection is live in this country and your country was attacked. It was a horrible thing that happened to us ten years ago today. Something that we can never forget. Today I've taken out time to pray for everyone who was there on that day, our heroes, our survivors and our fallen.
     It's hard to come up with the words to share how I'm feeling today. I know most of you understand as you are undoubtedly feeling the same thing. I feel a connection to everyone as we mourn this day and a sense of pride as we look at our military, police officers, fire fighters, and rescue workers. We need to remember to always be grateful for those who serve our country, not just during times of crisis but on a daily basis.
     Today my town, probably not unlike many others, had a 9-11 memorial. There was a line up of rescue vehicles through the downtown mall. At the end of the mall there were two fire trucks with their ladders up attached to these two ladders was a massive American flag. These two ladders holding the American flag were there to represent the twin towers and below these ladders was a piece of metal from the WTCs. It was an amazing sight. It was an amazing feeling to see all of these people come together to show respect for those who serve our country and those who lost their lives 10 years ago.
     What did you do today? Did you remember and share your story? Did you watch the news? Did you watch all the documentaries that they were airing? Did you go to a memorial? Did you say a prayer? Or did you turn the TV off because it is still too hard to think about? 


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1 comment:

  1. I was in my Senior year at William and Mary on September 11th. I was in my folk dance class, and my teacher said something to us. But I didn't fully understand the impact of what she was saying. After she told us, she said, "The dance must go on," and continued with class. That phrase really stuck with me, when I've been through hard times in my own life.

    I remember walking across campus after class and seeing people huddled around TVs, like at the library. William and Mary has a *lot* of students from northern Virginia, so there were a lot of people worried about their families. Of course, all the cell phone services were busy. You couldn't get through.

    My dad traveled a lot for work, and I didn't know if he was on a plane that day, so I remember being slightly concerned about that. My housemate's dad lived in Arlington and worked for the State Department-- he was the head of the Middle East section-- he worked directly for Colin Powell. As you can imagine, life as he knew it came to an end that day!

    I remember driving to do my teaching practicum later on that day, and listening to the reports on the radio. I remember wondering how I could help the kids deal with this. I remember how stiff the other teachers were. At the end of the day, over the loudspeaker the principal told the kids that they might hear some sad news from their parents when they got home.

    The next day, in one of my teaching classes, the teachers talked about helping kids deal with trauma. The following Spring, my class was the first to graduate since 9/11. Our graduation speaker told us to "find the good and praise it." That really stuck with me.

    Thanks for giving me a chance to tell my story!