This is kind of part of my DEAR series, though I don’t really think I tended to use the series for posts of this sort. I think this is the type of event that you remember forever. There’s no forgetting it. I might not have 9/11 at the forefront of my mind every day of the year, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t care. I’m a frequent visitor of New York, so I’m especially interested in the progress of the 9/11 memorial.
It’s not the fact that someone attacked America or the fact that we lost two beautiful towers. I’m more upset at the fact that we lost so many lives that day. We lost a lot of heroes and a lot of friends. I remember being in shock. Even as an elementary student it was hard not to know what was going on. It was very hard for my family to tear itself away from the TV.
That day I was in school, I remember the teachers trying to continue our lessons. We didn’t end school early or turn on all the televisions to watch the events. It might have been because we were so young and the teachers didn’t want to expose us to these events without our parents’ consent. I remember going home in the evening and my mother turning on the TV. Then I watched the towers burning over and over again. I watched the second plane crashing into the second tower. I was so cared and I wasn’t even in NYC. I was across the country safely in Washington.
My brother was flying to Australia that week, so my mother got a lot of frantic calls from our family who wanted to make sure that everyone was okay. We were, but it was a close call. My mother and I were supposed to fly with my brother, but my mother got violently sick and our trip was canceled. My brother’s flight was shuffled around pretty much late minute. I don’t want to even think about what might have happened if these crazy circumstances hadn’t happened. We might have been fine, but you never know. It’s like the theory that if you go back in time and kill a dragonfly you might have caused elephants and horses to become extinct in the future. They are scary thoughts.
I remember a lot about the rescue efforts and all the sad pictures of families in New York trying to look for their family and friends who had been around the World Trade Center that day. The city was covered in ash. At night there were candles lit in memory of those who were missing or who died. I remember a lot about the rescue efforts to dig people out of the rubble, but the reports kept saying how as more time passes the less likely it was to find someone alive. I remember all those policemen and firefighters dying to help people out of the rubble and out of the towers. American turned from a peaceful country to a wartime country (even though there are debates about it really being “wartime”).
We were tested that day. Our compassion and our humanity was tested and I like to think that we passed. There was so much support from around the country and around the world. It was crazy, crazy, crazy and I hope something like this never happens again. I’m not sure if my heart could take it. Sometimes I have to switch the channel when a 9/11 documentary comes on air. Watching those make me so sad. Those were human lives and they deserved to live.
To the people who are gone: we love you, we miss you, and we wish you were here.