In Memory of Heroes

My father worked in the World Trade Center for almost twenty years. He used to say that his office was so high up in the sky that he could see the color of the pilots’ eyes.

As a child my sister and I used to visit my dad at his office. We spent the day photocopying our hands and watching the tiny dots out the window moving around the street below. He began working from home a few months prior to 9/11.

On the evening of September 10th, 2001, my parents were flying home from vacation to Kennedy Airport in New York. As they flew past Lower Manhattan the pilot announced to the passengers that he was going to fly a bit closer to Wall Street than usual since it was such a clear evening.

I heard about the first plane as I listened to the radio at my office in Times Square. I immediately went into the conference room and turned on the TV. Within minutes the room was packed, all eyes on the television. The newscasters were fumbling for words. Then the second plane hit. I vividly remember the one other face in the room who immediately understood that we had just been attacked.With the bridges and tunnels to get out of Manhattan closed I walked to a friend’s apartment. I will never, ever forget the beautiful weather on that day.  I am sure that many others noticed the clear blue skies too as they headed to work that morning in the Twin Towers.   It struck me how something so horrible should not be happening, let alone on such a perfect day.

For hours and hours all we heard were sirens. From the window there was an unobstructed view of the smoke that filled the space where the twin towers had stood moments earlier. We communicated with family and friends by spotty AOL chat. Whenever someone got through to us by phone we inquired about the safety of our loved ones before we lost the connection. Early the next morning I took the train to New Jersey and held my breath for most of the ride.

Among others I was thinking of friends who had gotten married a couple of weeks earlier, both of whom worked in the Trade Center. Luckily, both were safe. All she had left from ten years of work was one business card from her wallet, but she was alive.

Almost everyone I knew personally made it safely out of the Trade Center. Almost.

The next few weeks for so many of us were a blur. We watched that horrible scene over and over and over again. We mourned. We consoled. We wondered why. We wondered how. We tried to figure out how to move forward; if doing so was even possible.

It seems that everyone has a story of 9/11. Some are valiant. Too many are tragic. Most are a recollection of hearing the news.

As we get ready to head back to school and into autumn, I can’t help but think about that date coming up just a few weeks away; the ten year anniversary of the day that changed everything.

To all the children who lost parents, parents who lost children, wives who lost husbands, husbands who lost wives and to anyone who lost a loved one or friend in the horrible events of almost ten years ago, my thoughts are with you.

***

Comments

  1. What a thoughtful post. I definitely remember that where I was. We were living on the west coast at the time. I didnt know anyone directly, personally affected. Butmi remember seeing all the names of people that were on the planes, thinking about the children now parentless, etc. May God protect us from another such day.

  2. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

    I love that last line. Yes, may we be protected from another such day.

  3. This was a great post. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already.

  4. Great, thoughtful post. I can’t believe it’s coming up on 10 years already…

  5. Beautiful post! I am a native New Yorker, but I happen to be away at college when I heard over the radio (in Atlanta) about the first and then second plane flying into the tower. I remember how stunned I was….and how confused the radio announcer was. No one knew immediately what had caused this to happen…..

    10 years later, I hope that we remember those who lost their lives on that day, and those who participated in the rescue efforts. Grateful is not an adequate word to express my feelings. Thank you for such a thoughtful post!

  6. I flew coast-to-coast (east to west) on September 10. On September 11, I was at Microsoft which was in lock down mode once the horrible events of the day unfolded. Thank you for pouring your heart into a post that eloquently reminds us that we must never forget. I am sorry for your loss. My heart will always be with those who lost loved ones. We must never forget.

  7. It is so important that we remember what happened that day. My friend Denise lost her brother Matthew Barnes, he was a fireman and he perished in one of the towers. The fact that people like you Jessica take the time to remember-to pay tribute means the world to the families; it really does. I’m going to send her the link so she can read this post.

  8. My husband was going to his second day of work (downtown). I was already up in Westchester, teaching. I was terrified that he was trapped underground in the subway. And so many of our friends worked in Manhattan. I was so relieved when he called and my entire class applauded.

    He helped with triage on Chelsea Piers that night and a few months later he signed an agreement to join the Army.

    Thank you for writing this post, sharing your experience, and for reminding us all about this day.

  9. I’m local too, and ALMOST everyone I know made it out as well. Thank you for this beautiful post.

  10. That was such a beautiful post. I don’t live in NY, but I think we all remember where we were that day and know someone personally who was affected. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already…
    Thanks for the loving reminder.

  11. Creating a post, such as yours, is a labor of love, and usually tears. Unfortunately, I know.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  12. Scenes from 9-11 will forever be remembered around the world. Such a beautiful post.

  13. What a touching and sweet remembrance post. Truthfully all stories from this day make me tear up. I still get very emotional about it, and I was no where near the scary events of the day. I didn’t know anyone personally who was lost, but 9/11 directly changed the course of my life. My hubs (former military) now deploys to the “sandbox” every 4 months for his job. He has to go away from his family for months at a time. While he might be doing this had 9/11 not happened, it is highly unlikely.
    Thanks for this post.
    I am following you from the No Rule Blog hop! Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
    Best,
    Emily
    http://www.familylifeinlv.com

  14. 10 years later, that feeling of watching events unfold is still so raw. The moment I found out I was staring at a class of 25 2nd graders while the principal whispered the news in my ear. Since I was living in NC but was from Boston (with friends and my boyfriend in NYC and Philly), I was one of the first in the school to know because of the chance I would know people involved. I think all of us on the east coast looked up at that brilliant blue sky and could not believe what was happening underneath it. I lost a sorority sister that day. She was truly one of the nicest, kindest people I knew. Watching her closest friends and family desperately search for her while we all prayed was heartbreaking.

    Thanks for this post, 9/11 has very much been on my mind lately with the anniversary and our recent visit to that amazing, resilient city.

  15. Thank you so much for posting this. I am so sorry for your loss and so happy at the same time that most of your family and friends were safe. My heart still breaks every time some mentions 9/11. I wasn’t as directly affected by it as you were and it’s hard for me…I can only imagine what you must feel.
    About 4 years ago I visited New York for the first time and it was eye opening to see how much it was still on the forefront of so many people’s minds. Our guide on one of the 2 tier buses told a story about his sister-in-law (he literally had tears streaming down my face, it was so moving), our boat guide pointed out where the Twin Towers would’ve stood, etc. I visited the site of the Twin Towers and walked through the church that held so many injured and resting heroes. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life. Standing there it was hard to imagined all of the pictures that we saw on TV and yet you could still feel it haunting the streets, if you know what I mean. It was incredibly moving.
    I know I will never forget where I was that day and how it felt to watch everything unfold and I hope that nobody else does either. By remembering we honor those that have passed and all of the heroes that either gave their lives to help or those that risked their lives to help.
    Sorry for babbling but this subject always tears me apart and I find it hard to express sadness that I feel when I think of it.

    Lisa
    P.S. I’m one of the Meaningful Monday blog hop co-hosts. Thank you so much for stopping by and linking up! If you hadn’t I probably would’ve missed out on reading your incredibly moving post!

  16. a very thoughtful post..thanks for sharing though I’m far away I felt the world stopped during the very fateful 9/11 that was actually my grandpa’s birthday as well we all prayed for everyone…

    I’m a new follower feel free to drop by
    http://kimyunalesca.blogspot.com/

  17. I was just down there Monday and it was eery because Monday was also a crisp, cool sunny day. Such a nice tribute with that date approaching. Thank you for remembering all of those fallen Americans!

  18. This is a very moving story. Let’s not forget all those who we lost. Thanks.

  19. Thank you for posting this. It was a horrible day. I don’t have any direct connections to individuals lost but my heart still broke that day and it will continue to ache for those whose lives were forever changed and lost.

  20. I wasn’t directly affected, and living in Texas put me far away from the attacks, but living near a *very large* military base at the time, I had many friends who were directly affected because they had family scattered across the country, some in NY, and there was a compounded fear that, with Ft. Hood being the largest military base, it would be another target of an attack- people were pulling their kids out of school right and left (I was in high school at the time).

    I remember being in choir, and the stickler for rules, the one who never deviated, put me at disbelief by turning on the television and I watched in shock as this happened- this could not be our own country? It was. It didn’t strike me until the military base went on lockdown soon after, and it was hard to go anywhere. Then it finally sunk in. Now, it’s 10 years later. I’m still in Texas (different location). While I am glad to not have known anyone lost, I still remember those that did with honor, as they deserve it. It is hard to believe it has been so long.

    Thank you for this post. Blogs like yours are the reason I frequent hops- you’re amazing.

    ~Ashley~

  21. Thanks for sharing your story. It hit so many of us hard and yet we didn’t lose a loved one. I was teaching third grade at the time and one of the students seemed to sense the significance of it.

    http://drawingthelinesomewhere.com/remembering-911/

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