Saturday, September 11, 2010
Reflections of 9/11
On this day in American history, a horrifying event occurred that changed all of our lives forever. One writer could never do justice to the heroism, courage and tragedy of that morning nine years ago. I felt it would be better to honor the sacrifice of the day by asking several people from all walks of life to share their memories. The following is the result. I hope in the spirit of the day, you'll excuse the length of this article and read each response and share in the memories of that day with us.
"I was at work and I overheard my 2 coworkers in the cubicle that was behind me talking about planes being flown into buildings. I thought they were talking about a movie cause nothing like that ever happens in real life...or so I thought. When I finally realized that they were telling the truth, I tried to log onto the internet but was unable to. The base was on complete lock down. That was the day that life changed for us." -Reese
"I just started a new job that day. I remember standing outside on a break and was SHOCKED to hear that nobody outside with me had ever heard the name Osama Bin Laden. I am still angry deep down and feel there has never been closure. NO, I do NOT support a mosque at Ground Zero. NOR, will I ever." -Cindy
"My son was just born a few months before and me and my ex-husband were up feeding him. I turned on the TV. I thought that it was an accident. To my surprise, another plane went into the towers and I just sat there feeding my son at 3 months old in shock and thanked God that the people who got out were safe and heart broken for the people who did not get out. It changed my life forever." -Annamarie
"I was an 8 year old kid. I never really understood what happened that day until years later. I remember the panic, the chaos. I was taken from school and I remember the images on television quite vividly. It scared me. I wanted to be a pilot as a young man because I always looked up to them. That was the day I decided I could never be a pilot. Oddly enough, and not to sound emotionless, I always remember Piazza's HR 10 days later when I think of 9/11. I have video of it saved because I have written papers on the emotional impact of that win.
In any case, someone above wrote they will never support the mosque at Ground Zero. I dislike when people say it is a question of religious freedom. It really isn't. I'm not saying don't build a mosque, I'm just saying, be respectful to the emotions of the people around there and don't build it there. The whole thing really gets on my nerves." -Satish
"I was getting ready to go to work when I first saw it on the news. I worked in the office of a furniture store and we kept a TV on the whole day. I remember the store being empty all day." -Kelley
"I was at work and we heard on the radio that a plane flew into World Trade Center. It wasn't until my husband called me and told me that it was terrorists that i really sunk in. He saw the 2nd tower collapse from the Bronx." -Wendy
"I was a 4 year old kid, just minding his own business, playing outside in the garden with my plastic shovels and rakes. But then my mom comes outside, brings me back inside, and sits me down next to her on the couch. We watched in shock as Flight 93 crashed into the side of the World Trade Center. Then, we watched as a plane crashed into the Pentagon, and again, just a mere two hours away in Shanksville. The whole thing seemed surreal, like it wasn't even happening." -Ben
"I personally knew two NYC Firefighters who died there. One of them was at the FDNY Clinic, when he jumped on the truck and ran to Ground Zero. He never made it home." -Michael
"I was in 5th grade bringing the attendance to the office. All of the teachers were watching the TV in the office crying, I had no idea what happened. The schools got out early and some kid tried explaining terrorism to me! It was a scary day and I've never felt the same security I did before that happened." -Kelli
"I was at work. I was frantic when I heard the news, worrying about my kids in school and my husband working in Newark. So sad for everyone who lost their life and for those who lost loved ones. My heart goes out to them. This day has always been sad since 9/11 but 2 years ago today, my daughter lost her best friend in a car accident. Rhonda was so young and a brand new mom too. This day brings sad thoughts." -Debbie
"I was driving a school bus. I was taking the kids to school when I heard about what happened and some of the kids were crying. All the cars stopped on the side of the road to listen to the radio. It was very scary to hear." -Danny
"I grew up an hour train ride from Penn Station. A lot of the kids in school (I was almost 12 at the time) had parents who commuted to work in the city. Thus, many kids were leaving school that day. The eerie thing about it was that none of the teachers could talk about what was going on and I was left only to speculate why so many kids were going home. Then again, for the most part I thought none of it.
Once I got home that day and my mom met me at the bus stop, she proceeded to explain what had happened. I watched TV almost non-stop that day. The only time, in fact, I wasn't watching TV (and this will reveal what a baseball nerd I was and am) was when I would go downstairs into the basement and pitch into a square box strike zone against the wall with a tennis ball - a game that I had "created" so vividly that I would make stats and teams and make my own MLB season. I wasn't allowed video games just yet, so my imagination wasn't washed up in electronics yet, I suppose.
Anyhow, baseball in a way started the healing process. The same way pretending to be Pedro Martinez of the Red Sox pitching to an imaginary batter in my basement helped temporarily ease my mind, I feel that Mike Piazza's game winning home run in the first game did much the same on a broader level. It in a way began the healing process for New York. Even Chipper himself said it was the only game in his life he was okay to lose, because truthfully everyone was on the same team at that time.
It's proof to me that baseball has healing powers, and is transcending. This is one of the many reasons I hold the sport in such high regard." -Tom
"I was in a meeting at work when I first heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center. Details were sketchy, so my perception was that a pilot in small plane made a grave error and accidentally flew into one of the towers. After the meeting, I went to our fitness center (I manage recreation facilities and programs for Ball State University) to get more information.
As soon as I saw the first monitor, I realized our world had changed forever. The silence in what was normally a noisy and vibrant area was haunting and I'll never forget that feeling. Ten minutes later, I watched as the first tower came down. The combination of disbelief, anger, and sadness was overwhelming.
That night I sat in a daze watching the news until the early hours of the morning. The feelings of disbelief, anger, and sadness were still very strong, but were now mixed with a recurring thought. What kind of a world would my son, who had recently celebrated his 1st birthday, be growing up in?
Nine years later, I reflect back to that time and it is fair to say the world certainly has changed. However, it hasn't been as bleak or scary as I first believed. A large part of this is thanks to our brave military personnel as well as our firefighters and police officers.
Do not think for a second, attempts to copy or out-due this tragic act have not occurred. I use the anniversary of this tragedy as a way to thank the people mentioned above for tirelessly working to keep us out of harm's way." -Jason
"I recall the morning of September 11th, 2001 vividly. I worked at an alarm monitoring center. I could not call into NYC to dispatch their authorities on any alarms, the phone lines there were all down. I called one alarm company in Newark to let them know we couldn't dispatch on their customer's alarms and the woman told me to turn on the TV. When I told several co-workers what she had told me, we turned the TV on and were horrified. We all watched in shock and disillusionment.
My wife called me to make sure I was safe. When she heard the news, she immediately thought the worst, as we all did. That morning will live on in me for the rest of my life. It is a day when the entire country was brought together in harmony to mourn. I watched the coverage for days. One by one, each building toppling after another. It was an experience I will never forget. I cried for days in the wake of that morning. The images are still fresh in my memory. The destruction, the bravery, the tears, all will remain with me for the rest of my life.
I thank those courageous men and women who served and did their duty that day and beyond. I hope we never forget the victims or their families. The pain, the suffering that they all have endured and still do. On this ninth anniversary of that day, I pray for the souls of those lost and for those they left behind.
It is my sincere hope and wish that everyone who reads this will do the same. At least for a moment, remember the fallen and the morning that changed our world." -Frank