This morning is a bittersweet reminder of the Twin Tower, Pentagon, and a field in Stoney Creek, Townsend Pennsylvania changed the history of our security forever. Many lives were lost, in fact, Wikipedia says that 2,077 lives were lost in total that day along with over 25000 injuries. I don’t know about those of you who were living during that time but it’s a day that will be forever etched into my memories.
I was working in a doctor’s office at the time. One of the doctor’s came around to our cubicle area and had just spoken with our Office Manager. They were letting everyone go home. This wasn’t something that happened every day. When I got to the house, my husband had the news on. I watched in horror at the coverage of the plane flying into the World Trade Center was occurring. As we watched and listened to the coverage, another plane few into the World Trade Center. Bodies were jumping and flying out the window. It was a sight that I pray no one has to live through or experience. There were many heroes whose stories never got told.
So many people had no inkling that they wouldn’t come home to their families and loved ones that day. The horror that they experienced can’t even be measured nor should it. But those terror attacks on the United States, highlighted the fact that our security wasn’t very tight until then. I’ve rarely spoken about this because I don’t want it to sound like I’m profiling but I’ve learned there are no such things as coincidences. In May of 2001, my family went to Alaska. On our flight home, I found it strange that there were men on the flight who appeared to be watching around nervously. They were foreign and appeared to look like men from the same areas as the terrorists that attacked the flights. I will never know for sure if they were part of it or part of the planning but I do know that if they were, we were fortunate that the attacks didn’t happen on the plane with us. In many ways, those attacks made me scared to fly again but I did get back on a plane and I traveled the world. I’ve learned that if we live in fear, that the terrorists win.
The military had a surge in enlistments due to the attacks. Everyone wanted to do their part to make sure that this never happened again. There was an anger that I’d never seen in our society before. The attacks scared our country, it united us in many ways. Instead of bickering with one another, we stood before one another in shock, peace, and each of us grieving in our own ways. We grieved for those we didn’t know and their families because these men and women were just like us. They were civilians. Yes, the Pentagon had also been attacked, but there was a large influx of people who were unarmed. They just wanted to earn a decent living for their families. The terror that the people on the planes experienced was real and palpable. The horrors of the victims that were in the buildings when they collapsed will never dissipate. The memories are what remains. Hopefully the lessons will remain etched in our minds forever too.
I hope this day is a reminder for all of us to #NeverForget, to never take a day for granted, and to remember that we are all on a journey that isn’t promised. There are many who strive to hurt and harm others. When I watch all the political bickering that’s going on, I’m reminded that there was a time when even though it was a very short spell, we all stood still, were united, and vowed to make this country a better place. To the survivors, we admire you. You walked through hell and were able to relay your experiences so that the others would not be forgotten. To the victims families, we keep you all close in our hearts and prayers because this day is a very painful reminder of what was lost. To the rest of the country, let us never forget that each day is a gift. Cherish each other. Never forget.