9/11 Changed Our Lives Forever
Even though it has been 10 years, the memories remain fresh in our minds.
Sunday, Sept. 11 marks the 10th anniversary of
one of the worst days of our lives – when terrorists attacked us in our own country – leaving a scar on the hearts of every American.
Whether we personally knew anyone who lost their life during
that attack doesn’t matter – we were all brothers and sisters that day, sharing equally the pain of knowing from that day forward that we were not safe in our own homes, in our own country. And that life as we knew it was going to change forever.
I was at work in a local newspaper office that bright, sunny
Tuesday morning. We had the TV on in the publisher’s office when the reports started coming in that a plane had crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center in New York.
Throughout that morning, we watched in horror as a second
plane hit one of the buildings and when the towers came tumbling down, causing the deaths of more than 3,000 souls.
But it didn’t stop there.
Another plane crashed into the Pentagon, killing even more people.
Shortly thereafter, news came in about the brave passengers who took over yet another plane over Pennsylvania, when they learned their hijackers were planning to attack the White House.
George W. Bush, the President of the United States at the
time, ordered all planes out of the air, and within two hours, thousands of flights over American skies were on the ground. I remember it being eerily quiet after that.
We somehow managed to get through the day. We were all
scared but knew we had a job to do as members of the press. It wasn’t easy.
I remember calling my sons’ schools that day to make sure
they didn’t know what was going on until my husband and I could talk to them.
We were assured the students weren’t told, but I learned later my oldest son’s teacher did tell the students. I was totally upset but in the grand scheme of things that wasn’t my biggest worry.
Children were released early from school that day and I
picked up my frightened sons, who were in the hallway with students also waiting for their parents.
My boys took the news well, but I knew they were a little shook up. We tried to keep things as normal as possible at home. It wasn’t easy.
Throughout the days that followed and the actions taken by
our government and citizens, people began to breathe a little easier.
I am so proud to know people like Joe Ludwig and Mike Moffitt,
who were local firefighters at the time of 9/11, who dropped what they were doing to drive to New York and offer their assistance to fellow emergency workers.
I would not have been that brave.
I was also very proud of the surge in patriotism that this
cowardly attack inspired, and the fact that people flocked back to churches for spiritual guidance.
Yes, we have calmed down over the past 10 years, but I have
to say the changes we have had to endure for our own safety are sad. Just having to take your shoes off before getting on any flight is a constant reminder of the threat we constantly have to face.
The fact that we have to have a Homeland Security Department and local emergency preparedness plans makes me sad, too.
My mother, who is no longer with us, survived the World War
II Hitler regime. She was scared to death on 9/11 and thought it was the end of the world.
She was right in a way – it was the end of the world as we knew it.