12 Years Later…We Pause to Remember

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I will never forget.

It was a beautiful day in Central Florida. President George W. Bush was at MacDill Air Force Base, not too far away from where I was working at the time, and I switched on the TV in hopes of seeing some coverage on the local news station of his visit. I shook the baby’s bottle and settled into the rocking chair, cradling the 3-month-old little boy who was in my care, and smiled as his little hands grasped at the bottle while he got down to business.

I glanced at the TV and thought I was seeing a movie trailer, so I drifted off into the world of daydreams and what I had to do that day. I was a freshman in college, working my way through school as a nanny for triplet boys (who were safely at school) and their baby brother, who was quite content at that moment. There was much to do that day, and I was anxious for the baby to finish his bottle so he could go down for his nap and I could get to work.

And suddenly, it was apparent that I was NOT seeing a movie trailer. The camera cut from the horrific burning scene to the news desk and the ashen faces of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. I grabbed the remote and turned up the TV.

I don’t know how long I sat there. I know the baby was long finished with his bottle, and was sound asleep. I remember looking down at him and saying aloud, “And just like that, your life will never be the same.”

The rest of that day was a blur. Trying to protect the kids from seeing the news. Wondering about friends who lived in New York. Unable to confirm the details we were all waiting for.

And then the Pentagon. And then the field in Pennsylvania. I was suddenly very aware of the evil that resides in this world.

As the days went on, we watched in horror while more photos emerged, more videos of terrified people were released, and our hearts broke over and over again.

12 years later, this particular photo still tears my heart to pieces.

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Several years later, I stood at the site of the devastation in New York City. And the one thing I noticed was how incredibly quiet it all was. Everything in New York was LOUD. Except right here. People milled all around me…silently. It was probably the most surreal experience of my life.

Will you take time today to pause and remember? Do you remember where you were that day? Do you remember what you felt? Do you remember how life changed on September 11, 2001?

Please. Pause. Remember. Some time today, stop and silence yourself in honor of those who lost their lives and their families. And for my international readers, please, say a prayer for America today. Because today is a day when our country’s heart hurts. As we pause to remember.

Because we will NEVER forget.

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21 thoughts on “12 Years Later…We Pause to Remember

  1. I will always remember where I was that day. I will remember the fear, and anger and frustration that went with it. Sometimes I look at my girls in wonder and think how an event that took place years before they were born will shape their lives in ways they may never know.

  2. I was a chaplain in the US Army at the time. I will never forget that day. I shared as well how that day changed my life forever, and the lives of millions of our service members and their families. We don’t live in the past, but we will never forget it!

  3. I really don’t like reading and remembering. I was actually there in person so witnessed the horrible events. Was heading to the DOH with my son who is now 12 and saw the second plane crash into the building, saw people jumping, and it’s a memory I will never forget. My heart goes out to the families still mourning, the ones who lost parents, siblings, friends etc in this horrible tragedy.

  4. We will never forget! The tragedy that left us all numb. We didn’t know what to say, feel or do. Some amazing people did amazing things that day. Through all the hurt and tragedy I am really honored of the Americans who were the heroes!

  5. It was a horrific day. I remember it well and always will. I didn’t loose anybody in the tragedy of that day, but I came close. My cousin was 100 ft. from where the plane hit the Pentagon. How Phyllis was spared and managed to get out with only some minor cuts and bruises can only be classified as a miracle. My heart will always go out to those families, and our country in general. To Red, White, and Blue…These colors are True… These colors don’t Run!

    God Bless America!

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

  6. I was a new mom with a 1 month old baby. My mom was visiting and supposed to fly home the next day. We watched the footage for days. Today we spent our history lesson talking about what happened. We’ve talked about it before, but each year as my boys get older they want more information. It affects them more.

  7. I was in our basement working on school when my brother who was upstairs yelled down that we had to come listen to the radio. I remember thinking the world was ending and any second now Jesus was coming back. I would like to think my boys will never witness such horror, but I know that simply isn’t going to happen.

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