ten memories on 9/11


For my ten on Tuesday I wanted to share 10 memories of my memory and feelings on 9/11. My deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones on that day. I did not have any actual connections to any of those people lost, but these are my feelings and emotions as I remember them.

1. I lived abroad and I was sleeping in. I was on vacation and had a house guest. Our phone started to ring and it was my brother in law at work telling us to put on the tv. I can’t remember anything about what I thought, I think I was scared, numb, confused, I thought it was a movie.

2.Depression. For 36 hours we sat in my studio apartment and drank beers and watched tv. We went online, we became obsessed. Obsessed for reason, obsessed for survivor stories, obsessed on those desperate to find their people.

3. I think we only snapped out of our obsession because a hurricane was coming and we needed to get some food and more beer. But it was weird to step out into the world again. It was weird because the world was still moving, even as our hearts were not.

4. I was scared. Scared beyond all means. I couldn’t get a line to call to America for hours. I tried calling home phones, work phones, cell phones and nothing. My best friends brother lived in NYC and for the amount of time not knowing exactly where in PA the other plane went down, I was hysterical. My family and all my friends were in PA and I couldn’t reach anyone. I felt trapped, scared and alone.

5. I was happy to talk to those I loved in the States. I was also sad, everyone was just in such shock and sadness. But over the next few days and weeks, I would get pictures of flags and hear stories of how America was pulling together to help NYC. And I was homesick like you would not believe.

6. When I returned to work a week later, so many people, there were only 3 Americans on my floor, would come up to me and say how sorry they were. You see many times when there is a tragedy people from around the world send messages and cards and flowers to the country of the tragedy and people were doing that to us because we were Americans and we were all hurting.

7. I felt stupid and naive. I remember learning in a college history class that we were America and things like that wouldn’t happen. After Pearl Harbor, no one would dare attack America again and I believed that, I think many people did. It helped you to feel safe in your homeland, but then 9/11 happened and I realized how scary it was and how truly naive I was to think we would always be safe.

8.I realized that no matter what or where I am, if I hear any song new or old, patriotic or country music or church hymn, that I will tear up. I will remember how I love this country and the people and how much we’ve gone through as a nation in the past and how many brave people have given the ultimate for us, and I will tear up and cry like a baby(if I am in my car) with pride

9. I remember coming home for a visit. It was November 2001. I had no flown since before 9/11. We got to the airport and there were soldiers with guns walking around and police everywhere and I was scared and not used to that. It really brought home to me how people were living and feeling after the attacks. Once we got out of the airport and on the highway, I was overwhelmed, every crane had a flag, every building had a flag, every home had a flag. It was like the 4th of July to the max. America was rallying and showing support and love for all Americans and coming together. It was amazing, and I still get choked up thinking about it. I came into my small hometown and there were flags on every porch on the main street.

10. I remember thinking, I am so glad I don’t have kids and thinking I am glad we don’t plan on having kids, because how could I bring a kid into a world like this. Ha. How things change. 4 years later I would have child and then another. But I never thought I would need to talk to them about 9/11, about evil in this world, about sadness of families being torn apart, I never wanted to explain the towers and the airplanes, at least I thought until they were teens. But again I was naive. When my child was 6 he brought home a library book and 9/11 was mentioned in it. He had spoken to my husband and he explained it to him, in more details than I would have. I was startled when we were walking in a parking lot and my child started to talk about the airplanes and the towers, he wanted to know if I had ever been to those two amazing towers, and with tears in my eyes, I explained that I had been, on a school trip, and that so had his daddy. I then explained that his father has been there many times since on business trips to Wall Street and he has seen the memorial area, he has seen ground zero. I tried to explain as much as I could to a 6 year old about how it was a very sad day for all of us and that many people lost their loved ones. And then I tried to reconcile to myself, after he started talking about Pokemon or something else, how do you tell your child school age or teenagers about the moments in September 2001 when we all changed, when we all felt as one, when we lost our fellow human beings to a tragedy, when we all started to worry and get scared, when we lived all those days when the terror alerts were color coded, how we sit with baded breath while watching sporting events, how every time there is a news flash of something scary, you are drawn back to that September. How do you explain something in which words can’t describe, words can’t be brought out, because tears always come first.

God Bless all the families who lost someone on that day or the days and years that followed as a result of the actions of those terrorists.

I pray that everyone can hug their loved ones and love on your people as much as you can, because we learned that beautiful mornings, don’t always stay beautiful.

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