Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering the Tragedy of 9/11

I didn't have any trips to post today. Things have been moving along as the daily routine unfolds. I did however feel it was important to reflect and take a moment to remember that tragic day on Sept. 11, 2001.

I am sure I am not alone in this, but someone could ask me where and what were you doing that fateful day, and I would not need a second to recall. Fortunately I was not near the terror that occurred that day. I was many miles away in the safety(?) of my little shared office at 410 S. Crouse Ave. Rumor had been spread about my workplace of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. I recall at that time, feeling secure in the fact that this was completely an accident, that somehow a plane had malfunctioned, an engine cut off perhaps. I remembered thinking how awful, but in that moment, not even considering this event could have been an attack on the US.

I brushed the "accident" away, and continued on with my business. It was only shortly after that moment of security that talk of this being a terrorist  attack was verbalized. There may have been some in my office not as na├»ve as myself, some that had known the second the plane hit what was happening. In reflecting on this, it was clear how innocent I was to the harsh reality of war.
Even as I watched the tv broadcast and the there began to be news of other attacks, The Pentagon being hit, Planes being grounded, a plane crashes in Pennsylvania.....I still held on to that denial. It was not until the second plane hit the World Trade Center, that the reality was inevitable. I watched with my co-workers as that second plane hit, and again and again and again the tv replayed that part of the tape. I don't remember saying anything...no one did.

I remember trying to take care of my job duties. Mechanically I moved, I think most of us did. Within an hour I was told one tower fell. Still thinking in my Pollyanna ways, surely they got most  of the people out, surely people are safe. Then the second fell. It was crippling. Again several of the staff stood like stone, eyes staring at things that seemed unbelievable.  

It was difficult to pull away. My fear turned to utter shock.

The true meaning of having a moment with your loved ones seemed endless before that day. I remember that all I wanted was to have my children in my arms, to be in my home. Safe.
I remember a feeling of overwhelming fear and anxiety. Are we safe? Surely we will be told to evacuate ourselves. Send clients home, let us go home. I want my children.

 That day seemed to drag on, time stopped. The office reflected what we were all feeling. Clients shared concerns reported love one's living in NY City. We followed any and all updates on the news throughout the day. As vividly as I recall those moments watching the second plane crash into the tower, I also have that same recollection of the building crumbling to the ground.

I don't recall much of the rest of the day. I know all of the discussion was around the morning events. I know that I moved about very much in a dream state. Physically there, but my mind off somewhere far far away. I don't remember the work day ending, or getting my kids from daycare. I don't remember if I told the kids anything, or what took place that evening. I do know that I had found a new appreciation for what I had been given in life. I do know that I prayed for the injured, I mourned for the deceased, and I sympathized for those who lost love ones. I looked for some hope in what little our country had left on those days that followed. I held my little ones a bit tighter. I spent more time appreciating what little I had. Despite it all I had never had more sense of being an American on those days then I ever had in my life. And as our country began to heal, as we all continued on, as I watched us rebuild, I knew that we would survive. We could move forwards.

Today, like every Sept. 11th since that terrible event. I take time to reflect. I take a moment to remember what's really important. I remind myself that as I go through my daily routine, attending to tasks I so often complain about. I have to stop and breathe. Take a good look around and smile about what wonder I have. September 11, 2001 is a day that changed lives forever, a day that took so much from the American people, a day that will never be forgotten.