Every September 11th and the days up until that day I think about what happened and what has happened since that day. I wanted to share with you my experiences from that day. It's one of the ways that I can pay tribute and honor everybody who lost their lives on that day. It is difficult and painful to return to the memories, but it is nothing in comparison to the loss of all those families.
September 11, 2001
There’s no way to escape what that date means for the people of the United State of America. In 2001, we all were ripped from our sense of seeming invincibility. I think that people just never imagined that such a huge tragedy, such a loss would happen here, we could see it happening in everywhere else in the world, but not here. I was waiting for one of my language classes to begin and one of my classmates told me that a plane had just struck one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I don’t think I fully understood that it was a commercial plane. I thought maybe a commuter plane had some issues and hit the building by accident. I wouldn’t understand the full impact until I was driving home in my car. I had a local radio station on and all they were talking about was what was going on in New York. They were crying and frantic and describing what had happened. There was a second plane that hit the second tower and everything was in flames. They talked about the collapsing building and the people screaming for help. I was crying so hard; trying to drive home. I was shocked to the core and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was struggling to breath and when I finally got back to my house, I turned on the news and I saw the images for the first time. It felt like I was stabbed in the heart; all the smoke and fire and the people running. I even saw the footage of the people jumping out the towers in desperation. I thought my heart would explode. I don’t remember how long I watched, but I then called my boyfriend at the time. We had just been in New York at the towers a few weeks prior. We spent a good deal of the day there with one of my friends ; going to the observation levels and taking photos in and all around. I thought of all the people that we met and everybody who worked and lived in those towers. They were gone. We both cried and cried. I think like most people that day throughout the country; it felt like we had been shattered into a million pieces. I was so horrified, angry and grief stricken. It traumatized us. We all wanted everything to be okay again, but we didn’t know when it would happen and when it was right to feel good again.
I hated it so much that on that same day I had to go fill up my car with stupid gasoline. My Mom kept urging ‘You’d better go get gas now before it gets expensive!’ It was the last thing I wanted to do that day. I remember pulling up to gas station with a huge line of cars. I saw their faces and they were probably just about as red with crying and somber as mine. None of us wanted to be there.
The next day I had to go to the Secretary of State to renew my license. I certainly didn’t feel like doing that and I remember that while on my way there a stone had gotten kicked up from the road and hit my windshield and it startled me. It left a crack in my windshield and left me even more shaken. When I got to the Secretary of State everybody had the same look; we didn’t want to be there. I went through and did my eye test and took a new photo, managed my way through, but nobody was happy. Everybody was so restless for the weeks after the attack and then months and months later still we all felt helpless. We did our fundraisers and we had ceremonies to honor the people who died, but it was never enough. It will never be enough.
It was a while before I felt like I could even laugh or smile again . I think the day when I started to feel like we’d be okay is when I realized that life couldn’t continue to feel like that. Terrorism is designed to shake you to your core and hopefully break you down so that you become so wracked with fear that you will submit to anything. Well, I wasn’t going to do that. As much as there is anti-Americanism; there is no denying the strong and resilient American spirit. When we are wounded we take time to heal, but we will recover. I never take my liberties and rights for granted. I understand how fortunate I am to be able to speak my mind and be who I want to be in this country.
We are a huge nation and we have so many resources and rights. Our way of life and rights can displease others and create the potential to make enemies. Oh, how I wish that all throughout the world that there was no strife and destructive wars. All I ever want for this world is peace and some people are willing to work towards tranquility while others do not see a point to achieving peace because of all the obstacles that stand in the way. Can you imagine if people stopped being so angry, stopped hating each other, stopped oppressing one another; stopped exploiting one another… Too much energy is wasted on being negative.
When I think about how much we can achieve together when we focus and pour our energies into something positive it makes me feel really good. I know the goodness that people can give to this world and I know it’s all possible to make everything better. People have to want it; in order to make it happen.
Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. They have rebuilt and made a memorial where the 2 towers once stood. There are now waterfall fountains in the footprints of the two towers. These waterfall fountains are surrounded by the etched names of those who gave/lost their lives that day at the towers, at the pentagon and in Pennsylvania. I was moved that the people who designed and planned the arrangements of the names were able to group them according to relation. The names are not in alphabetical order; rather they are grouped together by relation of friendship or family. That is so meaningful and I know that this a huge part of all the families lives; those who lost their loved ones, but were never able to have full closure because their loved ones were never recovered from the rubble. This is a place where they can come to connect and remember. There are also close to 400 trees in this area and it’s a good thing to see new life where so much was once lost.
If you’d like to see what this memorial looks like or to donate towards the memorial fund; please visit:
If you have some memories that you’d like to share about your experiences from that day please do.
We all learn from each other’s experiences.
What do you take way from such a dark day?
The simple truths of life:
Don’t hold onto anger and fear because it’ll end up hurting you even more in the end.
Never take things or people in your life for granted. When you have a chance to tell them you love them; you should do it because you really never know for certain when you’ll get another chance.
Wishing you all love and peace,