Twelve years ago today, I was a junior in high school. My morning started off like every other morning. I was half-asleep as my mom talked to me. I didn’t really digest much of it, not because of anything personal, but because I’ve never been a morning person. Ever. Those of you who know me personally, know this all too well.

My biggest concern that day was that my first period class was Biology. The Biology teacher was this creepy old dude with a terrible attitude. Anyway, I had a test that morning, and I wasn’t ready for it.

So, here I am, sitting in Bio class, looking down at these questions, thinking, “I am SO screwed”, when suddenly we hear our Dean of Students on the loudspeaker. He announced a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I can’t speak for the rest of the teachers, but our teacher turned on the TV. I can’t remember what the news reporters were saying because I just kept looking at the tower.

Then came the second plane.

I knew, at that moment, that a) that was no accident, and b) that our lives would change forever.

I had never been to New York. I remember asking my teacher to please let me call my aunt because I didn’t know how close her job was to the WTC, and I was worried. I lost count of how many times I called her. It was impossible to get through. About two hours later, my dad would call to let me know he spoke with her and everything was okay (mind you, no one was “okay” that day, but she was safe).

I remember classmates calling home, or getting calls from their parents. We were moved into another classroom, where we saw the rest of the events unfold, including the collapse of both North and South towers. It was an art classroom. I have no idea why I remember that, by the way.

My mom called me and said she was on her way to pick me up. What a sigh of relief that was, since my mom works in our Downtown area, our financial district. Feeling like the rug was just taken out from under us, many of us wondered what city was next. Having loved ones in skyscrapers on that day was an absolute nightmare.

Many parents picked their kids up from school that morning. I finally got home, and even though it felt nice to be someplace safe and familiar, where my grandmother was making lunch for us, I felt like I didn’t really know what “safe and familiar” was anymore. The day went on, and I stayed glued to the TV.

I didn’t lose anyone on that day. My best friend did, unfortunately, but I can’t pretend to understand what those who lost a loved one that day felt.

What I can say, is that a part of me died that day. The bubble burst. The innocent mentality I had, in which I thought nothing could happen to us, because this is America… that disappeared. I saw people falling from the towers. I can’t ever get those images out of my head. Reporters didn’t even know what they were seeing at first. That was on national TV. There is still a lot of anger in me, a lot of hate, a lot of yearning for the days when I still had hope of going to New York and seeing the Twin Towers I had heard so much about…the days when I felt better about the world.

However, after that day… in the weeks, months and years that followed, some of my faith was restored. I saw America come together like I NEVER thought possible. I saw strangers helping one another. I saw Americans live – go to ball games, laugh, sing, pray. I saw us rebuild. And through the chaos, debris, dust and destruction…I saw our flag.

It was still there.

I’ve also seen the incredible bravery of our military in the years that followed. I’ve always appreciated our troops, but I think, because of how this day changed me and made me feel, I appreciated them even more. The concept of us having the greatest military in the world was one I clutched onto for dear life, because that thought made me calm. To the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines I’ve had the absolute honor of meeting, whether in person or through social media, especially those who have fought in OEF and/or OIF, there are NO words- none- that could accurately explain the level of respect, admiration and gratitude I have for you. On a certain level, you saved me. You gave me hope and made me feel safe. You still do. You all have a big piece of my heart.

The monsters who did this are still a very real threat, and it would be wise for us to remain vigilant; however, they will NOT break us. We’ve lost a great deal since that day, from lives to liberties. We can’t bring anyone back, but we can fight to get back to being the nation we once were. If we cannot live free, then life is not worth living.

And that is where I am today- active, vocal and fighting, however I can, so that our liberties aren’t taken from us and so that my daughter will know America for what it has always been- the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.

So, on this day, I encourage you to share your memories. This exercise has a way of bonding people, like living through those memories did 12 years ago.

God bless you all.

Never forget.

Views: 105

Comment by JeansBrother on September 11, 2013 at 12:35pm

I was writing a computer program when a coworker came into my office and announced the airplane crashes.  I remember he asked who would do something like that?  My immediate answer was Osama Bin Laden.  It was a really bad day for all of us.

Comment by Watchman on September 11, 2013 at 1:06pm

I was awoken by a call from a friend in Canada who told me my country was being attacked and I should turn on the tv. I was in shock to say the least. The weeks following were very surreal and sobering.

Comment by Robyn Taylor on September 11, 2013 at 6:48pm

I had just woken up and I was thinking today is going to be a great day until the phone rang and my mom got it. It was Brittany saying turn on your tv. I saw the plane hit the world trade center and I really thought that I was watching a bad movie. The very good day that I thought that it was going to be turned out very sad and awful. Like most Americans, I was saying to myself who did this and why. For a week we had the tv on. 12 years later, the tears come to my eyes every September 11th. May we never forget that day.

Comment by Jerseygal on September 11, 2013 at 8:13pm

I spent extra time in the barn with my horses that day.  They were such a comfort, as the 'world' I knew was forever changed.

Comment by Kevin Ian Black on September 11, 2013 at 11:05pm

It was a Beautiful morning, I had just dropped my wife off at work when I heard about the 1st Airplane hitting the WTC.I figured it was just a Fluke. I got home and made some Tea and was listening to the news when I heard about the 2nd Plane and I realized we were under attack. I Turned on theTV and watched in Horror as people Died. I remember Crying I remember going outside and screaming my pain to the world I was Crazed, angry, confused.I called my Sister who was watching my kids and was talking to her when the Pentagon got hit I went From crazed to enraged. I raged and cussed an prayed that Morning I called old friends to talk I called family to share and ease my pain.I remember wandering aimlessly that day from House to house talking to neighbors who were home.I awakened a friend and told him to turn on the TV we were under attack and he actualy laughed and said your kidding me right.  He found out real quick I was not.I remember I worked a Split shift and had to sleep but could'nt. I remember the Helpless feeling, the fear the Angst as to what was gonna happen next.I picked up my son from Preschool and took him to my sisters House we hugged and cried and appreciated we had each other.I mourned when the towers fell I felt the Loss as if it were my own family in that burning hell.I remember later gathering at my church with friends and complete strangers as we prayed for our Nation and for the Families of those Lost.I remember going to work and having every radio in the place tuned to the news and wishing I could do something to help and Wishing I could go home. I was in Misery I was angry and I was weary to the Bone.I remember that day well and Hope I never have to live through another Like it.Remember this if nothing Else Love deeply and Often Laugh till it hurts and never take for granted what you have because in an instant it could be gone.God Bless you all and this Great Nation and Know I love you all  Gnight  Kevin.   

Comment by Ruthann on September 12, 2013 at 9:08am

I was in my Panasonic office in Secaucus NJ when someone came over screaming that there was an accident & a plane hit the WTC. I looked out my (West facing) windows, at the clear sky, and said it's no accident. Was told I was nuts who would do that on purpose? Then plane 2 hit and we all knew. Panasonic had offices in the WTC and 10 min later we were told to go home and be with our families. I'll never forget the horror of that day!

Comment by Robin on September 12, 2013 at 10:32am

I had to wait until today to respond! I was very emotional yesterday and wanted to make it through the day.

I was up getting ready for a doctor appointment. My father was living with myself and my husband as he was a sick man. He had the news on in his room and he called out to me to turn on the TV in the living room. He said Robbie, a plane just hit the world trade center and I think you better watch! He came out into the living room with me and we both sat watching the news coming in, and then, the 2nd plane hit! I froze, mouth open, stairing at the TV, speechless. After a few minutes I said Dad, it's terrorism!

I had a hard time pulling away from the TV to finish getting ready for my appointment, not knowing if I should go or not. I ended up going as it was hard to get an appt with my doctor. I told my Dad I would come right back home.

As I drove to my appt. I was listeneing to the news on the radio, crying the whole way. I felt horribly scared and shaken. When I got to the docs office they had the TV on and every woman in the place was glued to it in the waiting room. Even the doctor was visibly shaken. We all sat in disbelief at what we were watching. Then the next plane hit. It was then that all of us began crying, me again.

The doc was trying to do exams asap to get us all out fast, so we could get home to our families! My husband was at work and I had no way to get him on the phone. I was panicky because my father was in a wheelchair from losing both legs and home alone. I really have never felt so helpless in my entire life. 

I made it through my exam, all the women in the office were hugging each other as we came out and left from our appointments. I felt a bond with those women that day! None of us were Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians. We were just scared Americans! 

That day everything changed in our lives. It has never been the same since. As I look back on that day, it makes me very sad for our country.

I was raised by one tough Marine! He was alive to see it happen. Even though I miss him every single day of my life, I am glad he is not here to see what has happened over the past 5 years. I go on with the strength that my parents instilled in me, epecially my father. I have the best of both! My mothers heart and my fathers will and toughness, when need be! This is why I fight every day!

God Bless this great country! Amen!

Comment by RNhunter on September 12, 2013 at 12:15pm

Twice in my life I was quite confused and did not know what to do.  The first was when JFK was shot.  I was in college in the main hall when we heard.  It was so disturbing that I did not know what to do next, nor did anyone else.  Do we go to class?  go home?  I do not even remember what I did.  It was a daze.

The second time was 911.  I was at work and again we were all just dumbfounded and had no clue what to do.  So most of us workers and managers just wandered around.  I do remember a bright young Black person in my group at the time saying that he bet it was "Osama bin Laden".  I of course responded with "who?".  I am not sure why that person was so bright, but I remain amazed to this day.  After some time, we all just left work and went home - where we also did not know what to do.


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