September 11, 2001. I remember exactly where I was that morning when I heard about the attack. My husband and I were staying with at my brother’s house, having just moved to San Diego. Our oldest, The Professor, was only 5 months old. My brother woke us up with the sound of the tv. “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center,” he told us.
My husband and I ran to the tv and watched, in shock. What a horrible accident, we thought. We hoped.
No, two planes now. My heart dropped. The Pentagon, too? What’s going on???!!!
My baby woke up.
I ran to get him, then sat in front of the tv and nursed him. I stared at the tv.
After 10 minutes, my husband went to work. I was scared. We were on the other side of the country and I was afraid something would happen to all of us, here in San Diego.
He promised we would be okay. We couldn’t let them win. He went to work. He’d call me if he was sent home.
My brother stayed longer.
I held my boy and watched in horror the chaos on the tv.
“We are at war,” I thought. I looked at my son and immediately thought of his survival.
Would there be more attacks? Was the west coast going to get hit? We need groceries to survive.
Yes, I actually thought that. I told my brother. He agreed. He went to work and I rushed to the grocery store to fill up with groceries, to prepare for who-knows-what the future held for us.
The check-out clerk didn’t seem unaffected even though he knew about the attack. I stared at him. Was this really happening?
I returned home.
The towers fell. I cried.
All day I sat in front of the tv watching the images of the attack, over and over again. And, I cried.
I saw the poor souls jumping out of the building. The helpless people standing on the tower roof waiting for someone to rescue them. Men and women waving their arms out of windows looking for help. The tears never stopped rolling down my face.
I cried all day. I held my son close to me all day, afraid to let him go. I wanted my husband home with me, but he told me the terrorists would win if we didn’t continue living.
I spent the whole week sobbing and sat glued to my tv. I couldn’t move.
But, eventually I did move. Life went on. And now it’s the 10-year anniversary. Since that fateful day, my husband and I have our own house and now have 3 glorious children. We have had birthdays, vacations and memories a-plenty.
We pay our bills, do our yard work, run errands.
We argue, we love, we play.
We are alive.
I will never forget that horrible day, when thousands of innocents were murdered.
I will never forget the images of that day, the bodies that fell, the burning buildings, the smoke, the panic.
I will never forget the stories of that day, the brave first responders that sacrificed their lives to save another, the lucky survivors pulled from the debris.
Every September 11th, my husband and I are back to the tv, to watch a tribute. To remember. The pain is still in my heart, I still cry as I did that day.
I periodically have dreams of those who died, the terror of those in the burning buildings, in the hijacked planes. I wake up terrified, heart pounding, heart breaking, tears in my eyes. I shout in my sleep, but nothing comes out. I crawl into bed with one of my kids and hug them, our future, our salvation. It takes time, but I find peace and sleep with my babies in my arms.
My family and I didn’t know any of the victims of September 11th. We were lucky, but we were not unaffected.
As Americans, we will move forward and continue our picnics, our bake sales and our way of life.
School days will come, holidays will be celebrated and babies will be born.
But, we will never forget the fathers, brothers and sons that died that day.
We will never forget the mothers, sisters and daughters that died that day.
We will never forget the families that had to continue living without their precious loved ones.
We will never forget September 11th, 2001.
I know I will never forget