AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Today, as we are all painfully aware, marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
I was with Dad, taking a load somewhere, and we had stopped for breakfast at a truck stop near Jessup, MD. As I was dishing some scrambled eggs from the buffet onto my plate, I heard the two ladies attending the food bar saying something about a plane having just hit one of the twin towers. We asked her what she was talking about, and she repeated that she’d just seen the news that an airplane had crashed into the WTC. I think at that time most everyone thought it was an accident, but it quickly became apparent something really wasn’t right. Breakfast abandoned, Dad and I moved out to the main part of the truck stop to watch the TV screens in the lobby, along with everyone else in the building. There was mostly sickened silence as we all stood, watching what was happening in disbelief. It was hard to watch, and hard to not watch. Because Dad had his load to deliver, we had to get on the road, but we spent the rest of the day listening to the radio. We had made plans to drive around Washington DC, as I’d never seen the city, but of course we had to choose another route. Our thoughts were captivated, the whole day, by what we were hearing.
Back home, Mom and Ada were also spending the day listening to the radio. When Dad and I got home that night, we all sat in the living room, saying over and over “I just can’t believe it”, praying, thankful that we were still together, saddened and mourning for those families who were broken that day. Thankful for the brave members of FDNY, NYPD, and all of the other first responders who sacrificed much, some their all, to help and rescue those who were left, both in NYC and at the Pentagon. For those on the cleanup crews who worked for months and months after the attack to clean up the rubble. For the heroes and heroines on Flight 93 who gave their lives to save countless others.
Earlier this week while driving home from work, I heard a short audio montage, with clips from the audio broadcasts narrating what was happening that fateful morning being played in remembrance. When I first heard it, I gasped and jumped a little – it was so unexpected, the way it took me back. I think I am just starting to realize the full impact the events of that day had on my life, on the lives of my fellow citizens, my friends who have husbands, wives, other family members, or friends who have or are currently fighting this war on terror, and now, my own cousin who is going through basic training at Parris Island.
Tonight, ten years later, as I reflect and remember, as I hear and see the recaps of the events of that terrible day – tonight, finally, the tears come.
Never forget. Hold tightly to those you love. And God Bless America.