The week of 9-11 is a week to reminisce and be thankful.
Thankful of life, family, friends, loved ones you knew and loved ones you’ve
lost. Sunday, 9-11-11, is a significant day in history and in humanity. On this
date, exactly ten years ago, family members kissed, saying goodbye, making
plans for the evening, after a hard day of work. Perhaps some of these precious
people had dinner reservations, celebrations, or a simple family time at home.
It was a beautiful day in New York City, and other cities. America was kissed
with the brilliance of sunshine, blue skies and another gorgeous day. All of
that changed in the blink of an eye as a terrorist drove U.S. planes into the
You work in the Twin Towers as a receptionist, or an
administrative assistant, busy at your desk, answering phones, taking messages,
organizing another day at the office. You glance out the window to see the
beauty of the skyline, but something is different. You see a bird. No. This
image is too big to be a bird. Sunlight gleams as the moving object gets
closer, and suddenly you realize this is not a bird! A plane. You struggle to
think. You must be dreaming. A plane cannot fly this close to the Twin Towers.
It wouldn’t be safe. The phone at your desk is ringing, but you ignore it for
just a moment. The image of the plane is moving closer. Closer. CLOSER. For a
brief moment you can see the shapes of bodies inside the plane as you realize
the plane is about to hit the World Trade Center. You inhale. Exhale. You blink
your eyes for the last time.
After the terrorist’s attacks on the World Trade Center, the
Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania, I had this dream many, many times. Living
in South Carolina, I wished I could be closer, so I could do something. I chose
to pray, write and contribute donations. My heart broke, and I wasn’t alone
with this pain. For weeks, America mourned and prayed. We spoke to strangers.
We attended church and we realized that in the blink of an eye, life can
This is the week of remembrance for 9-11-01; the tenth
anniversary of how quickly America changed. Much has been written about those
moments as we recognized the planes flying into the World Trade Center were not
a ‘pilot error’ but an attack on America. An attack on freedom. An attack on
peace. Many, many lives were lost, and now, we are at war, although in all
reality, we were under attack and at war the very moment the attacks occurred.
I still remember that date, that moment. Still grieving over
the loss of my father in 1999, I had slept in a bit on that morning. My husband
phoned to see if I was OK. “Yes,” I said, sipping the first of several cups of
freshly brewed coffee. “I’m trying to wake up.”
“Have you heard about the World Trade Center?” My husband
“No. I haven’t turned the TV on.”
“Turn it on.”
Listening to Matt Lauer of the Today Show, my heart broke. “Oh
My God!” I said to my husband. Is this an attack on America?”
“We’re not certain,” my husband replied.
We hung up and moments later, the second attack occurred. I
was breathless. Shocked. Unable to believe that this could happen in America.
Now, ten years later, our world has changed. Still, I ache
as I dream about the images of people rushing down stairs. Making phone calls
to loved ones. Jumping out of buildings, knowing they will not survive. A
friend phoned me later in the day. She had a friend in New York, at the Twin Towers.
Her friend was eight-months pregnant, just like she was. “I don’t want to bring
a baby into this world now,” she said. “It isn’t right. My friend made a phone
call to her husband, saying she loved him and she and their baby would be fine.
She told him she was jumping out the window.”
For weeks, I was glued to the TV, watching the images repeatedly.
Seeing people flying in the air, jumping to their deaths. Hearing stories of
missing loved ones. Seeing pictures of loved ones who would never be found
“It isn’t fair,” I said. Repeatedly. I cried an ocean of
tears for people I did not know. The grief was unbearable.
Our lives changed significantly after 9-11. I hope that we
will take the time to make every day special, to share our love with our
families and humankind, and we will realize how quickly life can change – in the
blink of an eye. Life is short, let us all make the most of each moment we
In remembrance of 9-11. We will never forget.