Normally an anniversary is something to look forward to. It brings fond memories and something to remember. However, that is not always the case. Today, I am remembering 9/11, and it is one memory that I can’t forget.
As I sit here typing this post, I still get chills and goosebumps from the horror of that day. While I had no direct connections as a person, it is still a day that almost broke America. And that makes us all connected.
Recalling The Day The World Changed
I can still remember that day. I remember sending my oldest son to school. I remember taking my 6 month old to daycare because I had to go to work after lunch. I remember coming home and sitting on the floor folding towels. I remember my husband calling me and saying have you seen the TV. And I remember turning the TV on just in time to see the second plane hit the tower.
And the urge to sprint outside, get in my car, and bring both my babies home immediately. But I couldn’t do that. I was a nurse, and I needed to be elsewhere. I just wanted to stay home with my family and be safe.
The Aftermath Of 9/11
One of the things that chills me when remembering 9/11 was the constant fear. Of always looking over my shoulder. Of questioning everyone’s motives. And because of the bioterrorism threats that started, I was afraid to touch or open mail.
And the contant whys of that day. Why did this happen? Why I had to be afraid. Why the h#!$ did this unspeakable horror change the way normal life was. But it was nothing compared to what the people at ground zero did.
What the first responders dealt with.
What pain the families who lost family, and friends, and colleagues were going through.
And the horror of knowing that life was never going to be the same again.
One other thing I vividly remember from that day was the deafening silence that followed. We live near an airport, and the absence of the planes was eerie. And unfamiliar. Disconcerting. The feeling of fear once again clutching your heart in a vise grip.
And the intense anger of having to feel that way. The resentment. And circling back to fear. Always the fear.
And more anger at those that used this tragedy as self-promotion. To brag. To lie. To cheat those that needed aid out of it because they believed they were better. Always anger. And always fear.
Experiencing Ground Zero
In 2012, my son was part of a school club, and they arranged a trip to NYC as a fundraiser. Part of the trip was visiting the 9/11 Memorial. I don’t think I have the words to express what it was like to stand there. On Ground Zero. Where so many lost their lives because of a single act of hate.
While waiting to get in, I remember looking at the buildings and thinking “the horror they witnessed”.
And seeing bits of the building pieces still embedded into the buildings as a reminder.
And the feelings of fear that bubbled up having to go through the security checkpoint.
And then the point of just standing there and taking it all in.
Seeing the pain on the face of those remembering loved ones.
And the tokens left to remember those that were lost.
The new symbol of freedom.
And the hope that was shining through with the rebuilding.
What Remembering 9/11 Means
Remembering 9/11 has now become part of a new normal. I remember every time I fly somewhere and go through tightened security. I remember every time I put away a book at work describing that fateful day. I remember every time a plane flies too low or sounds off. I just…remember.
So on this anniversary, I remember. And I will never forget.