Saturday, September 10, 2011
ten years ago
Ten years ago this day-at this time- many were calling it a night. Children had been tucked into bed, parents breathing a sigh of those who had a few moments of quiet before they too would turn out the lights on the way to bed. Some were still actively doing the things they enjoyed of the evening hours. A late evening watching the night around them, an evening out with friends, movies, meals, events of the ordinary type. Ten years ago, on this day, at this time we were innocent. We went about our day to day life. We went about doing the every day things without worry, without concern, without fear. Ten years ago.
What would we have done differently had we known?
On this night ten years ago, we laughed, we argued, we loved and we took for granted what we had. All across the country, we acted with an unconscious disregard. We felt safe, secure, impenetrable.
How all of that would change come morning.
Ten years ago, September 11, 2001 the world as we knew it, life as we knew it changed forever.
As morning arrived many rose from a night's sleep, those who worked the night shifts were headed home for rest. Children were preparing for school as their parents made ready for a day of work. Life was normal, ordinary, safe. We were innocent in our actions and lives. We never expected, accepted that it could happen much less would happen here. We were the greatest country, the strongest, the most secure.
How that all was about to change.
I was at work when I got word. The moment I saw for the first time the images of that plane flying into the World Trade Center, my innocent world was rocked. Shock vibrated through my system. For the time allowed I stood transfixed before that small grainy television watching what was going on around us. Hijacked planes being used as weapons against us. Thousands of people killed. The skies fell silent as all planes were grounded. The falling of the World Trade Center buildings..the fires, the fears the screams of people running.
As everything changed, never to be the same.
Families were torn apart. Fathers and mothers never to return home, never to tuck little ones into bed at night never again to help with homework or complain about a messy room. Fathers and mothers, uncles, brothers, family never to return. No lessons taught, no hugs, no teasing. Just that empty place at the table, quiet where there had once been laughter.
Buildings can be rebuilt, replaced. Lives lost, are gone forever. Hundreds came to help. They scoured the wreckage of what had once been tall, powerful, beautiful buildings. A landmark of the area. They scoured the Pentagon, looking for survivors. In that field it was obvious from the wreckage, there was no one left alive. A trench from the crash landing the proof that a terrible event had just taken place. Terrible and yet honorable. An event brought about by people on a hijacked plane who were determined that their plane not be used against their countrymen.
Never the same.
The dust, the smoke would settle. The rubble would be removed. Any sign of bodies, remains, property of those lost would be recovered. The list of names would grow. The sky in New York would appear empty, the places of the first responders, would show those lost in the attempt to rescue. Lost, so many lost.
Ten years ago, September 11, 2001. Everything changed.
All across the land, the red white and blue would fly. From any and everywhere a flag could hang from. They thought they could destroy the 'enemy' by such an enormous loss of life. Instead it angered, it drew us together. We stood in the face of this enemy and showed them, there is pride, great pride; there is determination here, that isn't found elsewhere.
Ten years ago, we were wounded, but we healed stronger.
Ten years ago, there was massive loss, we have not, never will forget.
Ten years ago, we were innocent, but we learned, we grew, we survived.
Ten years ago on this night, 9.10.11 we called it a night and went to sleep to one world. A world that would be forever changed within hours of rising on 9.11.01.
For those who lost much, we have not forgotten. For those who lost family, we remember. For those who rushed to help, those first responders, those who spent hours upon hours searching, for those who responded and were lost. We have not forgotten what you did. We have not forgotten that because of what you did then, you suffer now. We have not forgotten, we remember, always will remember. For those who lost, we are sorry, your pain is ours. For those who gave much, we thank you. For those who gave all- we remember, and we thank you. For those on the planes determined to try and retake the plane, for those we know not what you were doing, attempting to do on the other planes- we salute you, we honor you- all of you- are our heroes.
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