I remember the strange phone call I got from my sister in law, early that Tuesday morning, simply saying, “Turn on the tv.” She knew I’d be schooling the boys who were 10 and 7 then, and would not have the tv on.
I replied, “What channel?”
“It doesn’t matter.” She said, and hung up.
I remember turning on the tv and seeing the first tower burning; a terrible accident we all though.
I remember as my horrified little boys watched with me as the first building burned.
I remember their faces as the second plane hit the building and we realized that it was not, in fact, an accident.
I remember as 4 year old Evelyn and 2 year old Annika wandered in and looked at me and then the tv. I remember Ev saying, “What’s happening mommy?”
I remember ushering the kids away from the tv. Trying to get them back to school and realizing that was fruitless, and finally turning on a Disney movie in the playroom.
I remember coming back to the living room tv just in time to see the first tower fall.
I remember the horrifying realization that every person working in that building, and every single Firefighter, EMT, Paramedic, and Police Officer I had just seen running into that building, were gone. Just like that. Do you remember hearing even one story of one of those First Responders looking up at those burning buildings and saying, “Yeah, those are probably coming down, and I’m not going in there.”? I don’t. They went. Because that’s what they do.
I remember hearing about all the planes that were still in the sky. How many were there? How many more places would be hit? How many more would die?
I remember the shocked feeling when I realized that America was actually under attack. A feeling I never thought I’d experience in my lifetime.
I remember sitting for hours in front of the tv breathing a sigh of relief as one plane after another landed safely…until there were only two. Then the Pentagon…Then Pennsylvania. We wouldn’t learn for days of the heroics of that Pennsylvania flight. How many lives did they save with their sacrifice? We’ll never know.
I remember the eerie quiet of silent skies for days after as not one plane left the ground.
I remember wondering how this terrible thing would change the world my children knew.
Now I have one son who is fully certified and actively looking for a job as a fireman, and another son who is just about to start his training.
Soon they will be the First Responders.
I pray that all the sacrifices that were made on this day, 11 years ago, and every sacrifice since in this War On Terror, were not in vain. I pray that the world is now, 11 years later, a little bit safer. We are all certainly, a little bit wiser. No one alive that day was left untouched by the events of 9-11.