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Marking a somber milestone
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Forsyth County News

It is difficult to believe it has been 10 years since that fateful day we now refer to as 9/11.

Just like members of the generation before me who remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they got the news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot, I will always remember the events of the morning of 9/11 as if it happened yesterday.

Our older three children were all at the same elementary school. Our youngest son, 3 at the time, was watching cartoons on the little television in the kitchen. I was folding laundry in our bedroom and watching the news. My husband was working from home that day in his office in our basement.

When they first interrupted the news show to report that a plane had hit the tower, I was stunned.

When I was a little girl, my father worked in that tower in New York. Seeing the image, it was obvious that many people would die as a result. I could not imagine how terrified the people inside must have been. Of course, I had no idea that this was just the beginning of a day that terrified our nation and much of the world.

I yelled down to my husband and he came up to watch the news with me. When the second plane hit the second tower, I felt physically ill. We began hearing words such as "America is under attack," and "terrorists must be responsible."

For my generation, America being attacked or seeming vulnerable in any way was just not part of our mindset.

When the towers came down, I wept as I watched the unfolding events. All of those people running for their lives … all of those people who jumped rather than be incinerated … all those who were trapped inside the rubble that once stood tall and strong.

When the third plane hit the Pentagon, I couldn’t take being apart from our children any more. There was just this aura of fear and uncertainty and I just needed to be with them.

My husband drove to the elementary school and checked them out and brought them home. They didn’t know what was happening, but they knew something big was up.

Children sense our fear. Our 3-year-old enjoyed his cartoon marathon much of the day while we stayed glued to the television. It seemed so surreal hearing that all airplanes were being grounded, Washington, D.C., was being evacuated, and that there was a plane currently under attack by terrorists.

Of course that day was so much worse for those who barely escaped death and for those who lost loved ones. I felt so helpless and scared that day and the days that followed. It was horrifying to think there were so many people who wanted to kill us just because of who we are and what they think we represent. As a parent, I mainly feared for the future of our children. After 9/11, there was so much uncertainty and unanswered questions about our place in the world.

While this might change by the time this column runs, currently there are reports that New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg is not going to allow prayer to be a part of the planned 9/11 ceremony. He cited a lack of time as the reason.

Wow. Have we all forgotten how we got through those horrific hours, days, months and even years?

Do you remember going to church that first Sunday after 9/11? Churches all over our country were overflowing with parishioners seeking answers and comfort, from fellow worshipers, their clergy, and from the Almighty.

All over this great nation, people made time to pray and meditate about what happened and what it meant for those who lost loved ones that day. We prayed for the brave strangers who lost their lives trying to save others. We said prayers for sweet babies and children who would never really know their mother or father. The losses seemed unbearable.

Most of us cried for lives lost, survivors, and for what would happen to our country. Surely, we all knew the world had changed forever — we knew the world our children would grow up in would be a different place.

Before you head out for a busy day or set about doing housework, please join me on this 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 and say a prayer. Remember the victims and their families. Pray for our military, our government and our country.

And even though none of us much want to, let’s pray for those who want to cause us harm and destroy our very way of life.

God Bless America.


Adlen Robinson is author of "Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home." E-mail her at