Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

I wrote this several years ago, but I decided to share it again in remembrance of September 11, 2001

Sometimes I forget how it was on that clear warm day on September 11, 2001. I was at work in the ER when word came that the towers had been hit by airplanes in New York City, then that the Pentagon had been hit followed by news that a plane had gone down in a field in Pennsylvania. People were dying and families were weeping for their lost loves. The ER went on lock down as we waited for what would come next. We called our loved ones and talked to them just in case we forgot to tell them how much we loved them and might not get the chance again. We wept and we prayed.

In the days that followed, images of the towers collapsing, people searching for their families and friends hoping they were still alive and weeping, so much weeping played out on the news. Day after day, firemen and policemen searched relentlessly hoping to find someone alive and emergency personnel waiting in the emergency rooms for recovered victims that would never come.

I shall never forget the members of congress who gathered on the steps of the Capital Building and spontaneously sang America The Beautiful or the senator who wept unabashed during the memorial service in Washington, D.C.

We hear the stories of bravery that occurred during this tragic episode in American history and we honor them and those that we have lost. Years later, we remember that day and we pray that maybe some day we will feel free and secure from harm and that there's a chance we can find peace once again.


Kathleen O said...

It will always be remembered, where we were and what we were doing. And our hearts were filled with sorrow for all those who lost their lives and for the ones that were left behind. God Bless them all.

Unknown said...

Speaking of weeping...

Sarah, this is such a heartfelt, wrenching post. You possess an extraordinary ability to evoke the deepest emotions with the simple arrangement of words on a page. I suspect you feel everything deeply yourself, sweet lady, and that's why you're able to tug everyone else's heartstrings.

9/11 was a frightening day. I don't think I've felt so hopeless or helpless before or since.

The worst part is, I've never been able to understand why people commit mass murders of that magnitude or how they justify their actions. It's not mental illness on the part of the suicide bombers -- that I could understand. Many of them have been manipulated by someone who very well may be mentally ill, but what goes on in the heads of the bombers themselves?

May all of the victims of 9/11 -- those who died and those who are still with us -- find peace.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Kathleen O., I agree, that day will stick in our minds forever. In fact, I remember that whole week. It was surreal. In one day our lives were changed in so many ways for all time. As I watched the news unfold, it was like every day I attended a funeral. It was emotionally so disabling. I could barely think or carry on. I just wanted to stare at the horror on TV hoping something good would happen.
Thank you so much for coming to my blog and leaving your comment.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Kathleen A., even now I cannot understand the barbarism of these terrorists. It's like falling back into the Dark Ages, literally as well as figuratively. It's frightening how these people are willing to do anything to harm themselves and others. Until 9/11 I had no idea such hatred and savage cruelty existed. I was just drifting around in my kum-ba-ya kind of existence believing human beings were innately good.
Thank you for all your wonderful compliments. You make me feel like a million bucks. I so appreciate how you took the time to come over to my blog and make a comment. You're such a beautiful person.

Paula Martin said...

Sarah, your post brings back all the memories of that day, when the shock reverberated around the world, not just in America. Since then, I've read so many tales of heroism by 'ordinary' people that one's faith in humanity still survives despite the atrocity of 9/11.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I felt that way, too, Paula. Remember Starman's words, "Humans are at their best when things are at their worst."
Thank you so much for dropping by. I really appreciate it.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Sarah, thank you for sharing your heartfelt memories. I think we all feel the same way. 9-11 is an event that will live with us like the space shuttle explosion w/Christa McAuffle and the JFK assination.

I'm a 911 dispatcher for LAPD and a US Army vetern so 9-11 is especially heartbreaking for me. I try to focus on the positive. We saw so many acts of heroism that day - from Rudy Guliani (regardless of his politics or personal life) his actions were heroic. Then we had the plane that crashed in PA. Just knowing the passengers had tried to take the plane and advert disaster showed how ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

On 11 SEP 2001, I was a "new" dispatcher for LAPD. (I had 18 months on the job). I fact, I was scheduled to go to training at the Museum of Tolerance that day. The training was canceled. I remember waking up and turning on the computer to find out the shocking news. I was also 3 months pregnant with my oldest son, Andrew. I worried about what kind of world I was bringing him into.

Andrew is 12 now. He's a great kid, in boy scouts, and National Junior Honor Society at school. I have no doubt he'll make the world a little bit of a better place, but he, and all of us have to be a bit more aware about terrorism and how it can effect us all.

Thanks for sharing Sarah.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Stephanie, I remember you are (and were on 9/11) a dispatcher for the LAPD, and that you served in the military (thank you for your service.)
I can fully understand your doubts about bringing new life into a world gone crazy. Our previous generation probably felt the same way about World War II. It's astounding how people are able to find resilience and carry on after such terrible events. Look at us. Here we are after 9/11, but we, like the former generation, are forever changed from the event. I don't believe I will ever feel the security or freedom I felt the day before 9/11.
Thank you so much for coming by and commenting, Stephanie. I hope your children continue to live a life of freedom, joy, and accomplishment.