(thanks google image for the picture)
It's been 9 years since the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember that I was sitting in my Honors US History class with Jasper. I remember all of a sudden the school went into lock down mode. I remember that they wouldn't tell us what was going on at first, but that we could tell that something was wrong and that we were not having a lock down drill. I remember HS looking on Jasper's computer to see if he could find out what was going on. I remember him finding out what was going on and then everyone beginning to panic. Most of all, I'll never forget how scared I was.
See the problem for us was that we live so close to NYC. That's why we were in lock down. The school had no idea what to do for something like this. We all knew people working in NYC, in fact most of us had family members working in, or around the 2 towers and if we didn't have family members working there we had friends, parents of children we babysat, etc. I don't think that there was one person in my high school who didn't know someone in the City around the towers. And if people didn't know someone in the City, they knew someone in DC at the Pentagon. Everyone was in a panic.
I'll never forget that my best friend AW (we've been friends since 1st grade) was upset because she had a family member working in the Pentagon. I remember going with her so that she could call her family to find out if everyone was ok. I remember the look of relief on her face when she discovered that although the office of her family member had been destroyed, that family member, by some miracle, was not in the office at the time.
We spent the rest of that entire day watching the news and praying that all our loved ones were ok and that they hadn't been injured or worse, died in these attacks. Many students had parents come pick them up from school so that they could be together as a family during this day. I remember talking to my parents at lunch time and having them say that I should try to stay in school for my friends that didn't have parents that could pick them up. I remember my parents saying that we needed to stay strong and be supportive of each other. I also remember the fact that BOTH of my parents came to pick me up from school that day, and that we all went as a family to pick my brother up from school. That night we spent time together as a family. We lit a candle on our front steps in honor of all those killed and those now fighting to protect us. We have flown an American flag outside our front door EVERY SINGLE DAY since. There is not a day that goes by that we don't have memories of what happened on September 11, 2001.
One of the other things that I remember about this was my Dad telling us how he saw it all happen out of his office window. He was on the phone with my Mom when the second plane hit. He saw it happen before she even had a chance to see it on the news. I can't imagine what it was like to see something like that with your very own eyes. It was hard enough for all of us to see it on TV, but seeing it with your own eyes, now that's scary.
Although I knew a lot of people who died during these attacks, I also know that a lot of pretty amazing things happened. I know that some people had parents who missed their trains that morning and didn't make it to work on time so they were not in the WTC buildings when the attacks occurred. I knew someone who's car broke down so that were not able to make it to work at the WTC the morning that the attacks occurred. I knew people who just weren't in their office or in the building when the attacks occurred. For the number of people who died on this horrible day, there were a lot of miracles out there as well.
Before I end this post I really want to say a great big THANK YOU to all the men and women who are serving our country and fighting to protect our freedom and fighting to make sure that something like this NEVER happens. You all are doing your country such a great service and I will be eternally grateful for all that you have done and continue to do for us.
God Bless the U.S.A.