Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Decade

It’s amazing to me that ten whole years have gone by since the horrible morning of September 11th, 2001. Life truly has never been the same. I was a stay at home Mom back then and I was sleeping that morning with my little girl next to me – she was one year old. I remember waking up slightly around 9:00 and rolling over… I glanced at the clock but not at the TV – which was on, and was tuned to NBC. I fell back to sleep and almost an hour later my phone rang. I answered it, still not having looked at the TV. It was my Mom on the phone – “Are you watching the news?” she asked, and her voice didn’t sound like her own. In just those few words I could sense she was profoundly sad…somber, and cautious with her words. Just the sound of her voice told me something was terribly wrong. Finally my eyes fell on the TV. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing at first, I was confused. I asked “What happened?” and as she started to explain it to me, I was watching the towers burn and it was becoming clear to me that what I was looking at was really something beyond comprehension. When she told me that “planes full of people” were used as missiles to attack these buildings……by terrorists……..I got a feeling over me that I can’t really describe. Terror comes close to explaining it. I was terrified for our country and I knew nothing would ever be the same. For a split second I was sure the terrorists were going to wipe us right off the Earth and I felt hopeless. We hung up right before the first tower fell. I sat there in silence and watched it all and took it all in. I called my Mom back and begged her to come home once I heard a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania – it felt like the terrorists were getting closer and were completely unpredictable – who knew where they would strike next? My Mom was working in a government building and I just wanted her to get out of there. My Sister came home early from school, my Dad came over – we all just stayed glued to the TV all day long while my tiny one year old daughter played with her toys in innocent unawareness of what was going on in the world around her. The same little girl who is now 11 years old and knows far more about that awful day than I would like her to (she has learned quite a bit about it in school). In fact, as she learned bits & pieces and processed it all in her head, she created two of her own works of art about the World Trade Center…her talent and insight blows me away. We went out on our front lawn after hearing that all flights were grounded and I remember the eerie silence in the air. I found out later that day that my Uncle who lives in Brooklyn had flown right over the WTC site earlier that morning, just before the attacks began. Thankfully he was safe and sound at home… I often think what would the world be like today if all of those innocent people were still alive today. The profound butterfly effect that each of those individuals would have certainly had on the world since that date…especially  the children who were killed. I think about them most of all. The little 2 1/2 year old girl who was on her way to a wonderful visit to Disneyland with her Mommy…the 11 year old children who would now be 21 years old – adults – perhaps with children of their own. It’s too heartbreaking to dwell on for long – what their lives could have become. I came across this article today about those children and it really broke my heart. September 11th will always be a day of mourning in our nation, but hopefully also a day of commemoration of ALL of the wonderful people whose lives were cut short by such evil…God Bless America.

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