We Remember

remember

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday.

Some friends of mine were in Europe and I was housesitting for them.

And that morning, I woke up violently ill, but decided to go into work anyway.

I lasted about fifteen minutes before I realized I needed to go home.

When I got to my friends’ house, I flipped on the TV in their living room just in time to watch the first tower crumble to the ground.

And everything changed.

For two days straight, both TVs in their house stayed on. I couldn’t bring myself to turn them off.

I remember the frantic phones calls on the afternoon of 9/11 as I tried to reach friends in Manhattan and DC. The phone lines were down in New York. It took hours to get through.

And all of it — the horror, grief, and disbelief – it is as clear to me now as it was sixteen years ago.

But what remains even clearer for me were those moments that lifted us up and united us as a nation.

President Bush declared a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance three days after the September 11th attack.

And I remember driving into Hillsborough from my office and seeing folks begin to gather for the noon-time service outside of the old courthouse.

I parked my truck and joined them.

And during the singing of “God Bless America,” I broke down. I held my face in my hands and sobbed. I could feel my legs give out.

And before I could tumble to the ground, a big, burly man in a baseball cap put his arms around me and lifted me up.

I clung to him like a child. And we wept in each other’s arms.

It is that moment that I remember every September 11th.

Not the fire and destruction. Not the horror.

No. I remember that moment when a perfect stranger held me up and wept with me.

In grief, we find comfort.

And in tragedy we find within ourselves a wellspring of strength.

We remember because who we are today – what we have become – is defined and informed by what we’ve been through in the past.

September 11, 2001 changed us forever.

And I will never forget.

Never.

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5 thoughts on “We Remember

  • September 11, 2017 at 11:59 am
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    The heartbreaking swiftness and cruelty of that day inspired me to change jobs and join the Department of Homeland Security. To this day, the sorrow of that day haunts me. God bless America. May we never forget.

  • September 11, 2017 at 12:30 pm
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    I too remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I was working nights as an Obstetrical Technician at the hospital in Cheyenne Wyoming and the last bit on news I saw was ~ 3am while I stocked labor rooms. I was with the 153rd Medical Group of the Wyoming Air Guard and had decided, with Drill weekend coming up, to be lazy and let the cleaners at FE Warren AFB do my uniforms. I came home, grabbed the uniforms and headed to base. There was a long line with a 100% ID check at the Front Gate. I saw “Threatcon Bravo” on a sign and my first thought was, ” Oh yippee skip they’re playing war games. I hope this doesn’t take too long, I need to get some sleep!” as I had to work that night. As I got closer to the gate I saw guys wearing t- shirts that said, “FBI” and “ATF” and I thought, “WTF?” When I showed my ID I asked the Sergeant, ” Um, silly question. This Threatcon Bravo, is it Exercise or……?” and I remember thinking , “Buddy, please tell me this is Exercise”

    ” No, Sergeant, it’s Real World. Move along”

    As I went past the gate I turned the radio on in time to hear about the attack on the Pentagon. I did a rapid U turn and got off base just before they jacked it up to Threatcon Delta and shut the base down for several days.

    I called both my Guard unit and my civilian employer to ” touch base”. Gathered stuff in case we got “called up” Cursed those who DARED to attack my United States. Got MAYBE and hours’ poor sleep and went to work hoping for a peaceful night.

    Should have known better. The stress of the days’ events seem to kick every pregnant woman in Laramie County into labor.

    So here we are,16 years out. How many Americans are remembering this awful day or, in the words of Darryl Worley, ” Have You Forgotten?”

    Never FORGET! Never FORGIVE! Never SURRENDER!

  • September 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm
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    Outside of the day my father died, this was the worst day of my life. Heartfelt thanks to all those brave men and women who went INTO the buildings to save others, and heartfelt thanks to all those EMT’s, police, fireman and port authority guards.

    What angers me so much is that way too many people have forgotten what this day is. I won’t. I have a “Never Forget” flag in my front window that only comes down at Christmas to be replaced by a Nativity flag, and every 9/11 I get up extra early and go to 6:30 mass. It’s something I’ve done since the one year anniversary.

    (What do you thank Barry and Mooch are doing today??).

    • September 11, 2017 at 2:51 pm
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      I hear ya, We’ve a generation of folks who have grown up (chronologically speaking) since that day who haven’t a clue as to the importance of 9/11. Moreover they don’t WANT to know as they are spoiled twits who can’t handle anything as benign as free speech for Conservatives w/o freaking out and seeking ” safe spaces”. I ticks me off too.

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

      George Santayana

  • September 14, 2017 at 1:43 am
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    Beautifully put, Dianny.
    We’ll always remember.

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