Eleven years have passed since America was forever changed. On September 11, 2001, tragedy struck at home at the bidding of Osama bin Laden, and we knew then that things would never be the same. Fear and terror gripped the nation, Americans frantically tried to reach their loved ones, and the country watched in disbelief at the images coming in from New York and Washington. Our beloved Twin Towers ablaze and eventually crumbling, the gaping hole in the Pentagon, the panic and shock etched on the faces that walked past the cameras, and other images too painful to write about. There was the initial confusion surrounding United Airlines flight 93 – had it crashed? Did it strike its target? Where did it go? As details slowly poured in, we learned about the heroic acts of the passengers aboard that flight, trying to overtake the hijackers, who intentionally crashed the plane into an empty field in Pennsylvania, never making it to the Capitol.
You see, there was one thing Osama bin Laden never counted on: Our resolve. Yes, he succeeded in taking many lives and destroying our Twin Towers, he even succeeded at striking terror in our homeland on that day. But, in the midst of that, he united this country in a way that it had never been united before. Heroes were made that day. Search and rescue teams from all over the country travelled to NYC to help. Flags went up outside nearly every home and we found ourselves with a renewed patriotism that has not faltered ever since.
For today, let us put our political stances on a shelf. Instead, let us honor those whose lives were lost that day. Let us remember where we were, what we were doing, and what we felt in the moments and days that followed. We invite you to share those stories with us. I’ll start us off….
I was at home. I had just sent my 3 year old to preschool, and she was very excited because she was having her first visit to the dentist that afternoon. I was holding my 1-year old on my lap, and my 18-month old nephew had just been dropped off for the day. I remember the “Breaking News” taking us to NYC, where it was believed a plane had accidentally crashed into one of the towers. As I watched, the second plane hit in the background. My stomach dropped, and my blood ran cold. I realized along with everyone else that this was no accident. The phone wouldn’t stop ringing, my mom, my dad, my brothers…all of us just….stunned. Scared. Sad. And then came angry (angry lasted for a while). As I watched the search and rescue efforts, I remember thinking that it should never take a tragedy to bring people together. For the record, I still feel that way.
Okay, now we want to hear from you….