Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years but Never Forgotten

For a few weeks now I have been wanting to write a post about today.  It was such a defining moment in our lives.  One that will forever live on in our hearts and minds.  One that we will tell our children and grandchildren about.  One when they say "do you remember where you were when the twin towers were hit?"

The answer I can give is:

At work.  I was 20 years old and had just graduated from college that June.  I was still working at my mail processing job while I waited for something in my field to come along.  It was Tuesday which tended to be a slow mail day.  I was sitting at the machine with my partner when one of the women came in and said one of the towers had been hit by a plane.  My first thought was "wow what a bad pilot!".  Then came the words I will never forget "the second tower was just hit".  Then I knew it was NOT a bad pilot.  Something was happening, something very bad.

We all stopped working and turned the radio on to listen.  I don't remember much of the radio announcements or anything like that.  I do remember one of the women running home to grab a TV so we could watch it.  This was before smart phones and instant news feeds (BTW saying that makes me feel old).  When she returned we sat back and watched.  We watched as the feeds came in about the pentagon and flight 93 in PA.

Through all this I thought to myself that my brother needed to leave the country.  He needed to sneak away to Canada to avoid being drafted because I knew that we would not just let this happen.  I knew there would be a war.  I am thankful there was no draft.  I am thankful my brother stayed.  Not that I wouldn't have supported him but as any sister would be, I was afraid he would die serving his country.  Though a great honor, its still a loss.

Soon after we were dismissed and sent home.  The rest of the day I sat on my sofa watching the news reports come in.  As the towers began to fall I was in shock.  You could see the people running away.  See the dust and debris flowing like a tsunami on the war path.  You could hear the screaming, the chaos, the terror in the voices of those reporting.  NYC looked like a dust pile on the screen.

The images from that day are seared in my head.  I can close my eyes now and see the metal standing up in the rubble.  I can see the firemen walking on the debris.  I can see President Bush standing there with his hard hat on giving a speech.

Afterwards, I decided to make a scrapbook with all the stuff I could get from papers.  I even wrote a few pages out about what happened.  Below is one part that to this day still tears me up:

"I will now go on to a much sadder note.  Yes there is one.  Think of all the children that were orphaned or lost a parent in a matter of one hour.  I personally did not know anyone there but C knows a boy who might never see his father again.  She told me how at school a boy was called to the principal's office from her class right after the second tower was hit.  The boy was a trouble maker so the other kids teased him as he left.  When he got to the office he was handed the phone.  His father was on the other end.  He had called to tell his little boy that he loved him and he didn't know what was happening.  The boy returned to class to get his things and was greeted by the kids asking him what kind of trouble he had gotten into.  The boy responded by saying his father was dying in the World Trade Center and he didn't know if he would see him again."

Here we are 10 years later, still fighting the war; Bin Laden is dead; Saddam is dead.  Life has moved on, but the memories of that day will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

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