Can you believe next week marks the 17th anniversary of 9/11? I am sure you remember where you were on that fateful and tragic day. We were both at home. Our older three children were all at school — that was the only year they were all three at the same school together — elementary. Our youngest was not in school — he was home with me.
I had a little television in the kitchen—it was one of those tiny ones that flipped down from underneath a cabinet. Our youngest son was in our bed in his pajamas watching cartoons and eating dry cereal — I even remember that. Paul was working from home that day — and I am so grateful he was since I don’t know what I would have done if he had of been gone or worse, traveling.
I heard Paul yell from the basement to turn on the television —he had just gotten an email about the beginning of what was to be some terrible hours and days. When the first airplane hit one of the twin towers, I thought it must have been some sort of horrific accident. We were both watching as the second airplane hit the South tower.
I felt sick to my stomach as we watched the coverage. Terrorism. Until that day, it seemed like a word that happened to other people, far far away from us. We were glued to the little television and didn’t want our little one to know what was going on or to see the images. He couldn’t believe I was letting him watch so much television.
That whole morning just went from bad to worse as we watched the news and the events unfold. It was surreal in many ways. We wondered aloud how this could be happening in our great country. We prayed for those people in the buildings and those souls already lost in the airplanes. We prayed for those brave men and women who ran into the buildings as well as for the first responders. When the third airplane hit the pentagon, I was close to being physically ill.
I needed our children to be home. I felt like I had to protect them. Paul went to check them out of school as I continued watching the news coverage. Then it was reported that people on the fourth airplane were calling their loved ones and saying they were being high-jacked. It was just like a nightmare you could not wake up from. I did cry for all of the people, but I had to hold it together for our children.
They came in looking scared and confused. Paul said lots of parents were checking their children out of school. The kids said they all knew something was wrong, but none of them knew what.
The twin towers, one of which my father worked in when I was a little girl, fell and we all just felt devastated. How many thousands of people, including those brave firefighters were going to die? We watched as people ran for their lives—and knew so many were already dead.
We learned those people on Flight 93 likely knew they were going to die. We later learned many on the plane tried to resist the terrorists, but Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field and all were killed.
That night we all prayed for the dead as well as the survivors. I hardly slept for days as I stayed glued to the television. It was so awful to see the family members of those missing clutching photos of their loved ones and asking if anybody had seen them. You couldn’t blame them for holding out hope their loved one was alive somewhere.
It has been 17 years and so many young people were not even alive or too young to remember this horrible day in our history. If you have young people in your life, please remind them about this day. History books cannot capture the feelings we all experienced as our nation came under attack. Let’s all remember and say a prayer for those families affected — so many are still grieving and many still suffer health problems as a result of the air quality in the aftermath. God bless our country and God bless those who were victims.