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A Day We Will Never Forget. Where Were You?

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The irony of 9/11 happening on a date that corresponds with a call for emergency help has not escaped anyone of us. Nothing in our collective experience could match the pain, panic and horror of that day. I will be visiting the new memorial in October, so I am preparing my mind to take it all in.

But as I started to write about my view of what I remember… how that day felt to me, how I was gripped watching firemen, police and building officials running into the building to rescue people knowing they would probably not survive, how my job as the Marketing Director for a high-end eco-travel tour operation turned into an immediate nightmare as the trip cancellations started pouring in that morning (and launched the descent of that company and the essential demise of the the entire industry), how all I wanted to do was gather my child and my loved ones and hide, how we worried about our cousin who worked in one of the towers (but was traveling that day), how I questioned our stability as a nation and sense of security, how I questioned God’s watch over us… I began to feel presumptuous in writing at all.

The more I look at images from that day, revisit the video and news footage, watch specials on the ten year anniversary we will experience this weekend… the more I know I am unworthy to speak to this when my view is nothing compared to those who were there and barely survived or lost businesses, and those who lost loved ones, friends and co-workers.

But I also realize that everyone of us has a story to tell, because it effected all caring people in America and around the world on a soul level. And the impact of what happened on 9/11 has had far-reaching and long-lasting ramifications. Here are thoughts from Elise, whose husband had to serve in active military duty in the Middle East as a direct result of the attack.

“Remembering what happened on 9/11, I think of…

• where I was sitting when it happened and how I will never forget that moment
• how something so tragic could happen to such a power house like America? I am reminded that no one is invincible
• how hard it still is for the people who lost loved one even ten years later
• how I can’t believe it has been ten years
• how amazing it was to see people of all sorts to clean up the aftermath and gather together to rebuild such a tragedy
• how there was hope in the midst of such great tragedy
• how there are good people in the world who will selflessly do things for others expecting nothing in return, especially remembering the fallen heros who risked their lives to save others
• that we don’t know what tomorrow holds, so we cling tightly to our faith.”

Where were you? How did you feel? You have a story, too. Please feel free to share your memories, personal experiences and feelings about 9/11. We would love to hear from you.

 

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8 thoughts on “A Day We Will Never Forget. Where Were You?

  1. Tina

    My family and I were in the hospital, waiting for my mother to come out of surgery from having radiation implants put in for her Cervical Cancer. I remember the wide screen TV in the waiting room surrounded by so many people…everyone crying. We knew after the second hit we were under attack. It was certainly a very sad, sad day.

  2. Melanie

    Some moments in time can never be forgotten, no matter how hard we try. September 11 is one of them for me. My co-workers and I were packing up our office to move to a new location on September 11, 2001. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day, and our office was buzzing with the optimism of a larger space and a bright future for our company. When the news came in, it didn’t seem real. We all gathered around one radio (because we had packed away all of our computers) and listened in stunned silence as the radio announcer described the horror taking place.

    That evening when I went home and watched the news, saw the re-play of the plane hitting the tower, the blazing inferno where workers (just like me) had just been doing their jobs, and the photos of the desperate jumping from the top, it was too much.

    It is still too much….

    I felt physically ill as I watched, and then in the days that followed, read the names of the ones lost or missing…even children, never given a chance to reach adulthood. Lives lost, stolen away by ones filled with hate. It seemed that evil had triumphed.

    Looking back on that day, I am proud of the way our country summoned courage, wrapped our arms of love around one another, pledged to stand side-by-side, and to never forget those who were lost. We may be divided on many issues, but we are Americans. We are ONE.

    This year, I will pause to remember and honor those lost, pray for those who lead our country, and remember to always, always, always find hope. However, as powerful as evil is, love is more powerful than evil. The towers fell, but faith, hope, and love remain… and the greatest of these is love. (“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” ~ Romans 12:21)

  3. Kendra

    September 11th is a very important day for me. My ex-husband and I were in the Navy at the time and we had a nine month old son at the time. The Navy has advancement exams twice a year and I had taken the 10th and 11th off to cram for the exam on the 12th (which ended up canceled). I had taken my son to the baby sitter’s, who was also a Navy wife and mother of 3. I had gone home and had my nose buried in my numerous books and received a phone call from the sitter. I will never forget she said “Turn on the TV! Oh my God! I don’t know what’s going on!” I turned on the TV and saw a twin screen of a skyscraper on fire and then another building and quickly realized I was looking at a plane buried in the Pentagon! and the commentator was stating the other building was the World Trade Center. I watched in horror as the towers fell and the events of the day played out. After 10 minutes on the phone with her as we were both taking this in I told her I needed my son and that I would be there in minutes.

    The military took this attack very hard, the US military forces have been attacked by terrorists for over 40 years, but this was our backyard. The base in Virginia had planes in the air within 4 minutes of the first plane hitting the tower and were at the White House immediately. The installations in the area went to general quarters and they were ready for anything. So many sailors and soldiers are so sorry this was not prevented and stayed in or re-enlisted to make sure this didn’t happen again. Along with the rest of the nation, I prayed for God to hold those firemen, policemen, and other rescuers who were still on scene and trying to find survivors give them the strength to carry on. Those families that lost loved ones also were in my thoughts and prayers.

    My grandfather peacefully passed away on September 16th in Texas and I took leave to drive home to then be with my family. As I crossed half way across this country from Virginia to Texas the highways and side roads were draped with American flags and posters and signs of this country pledging their allegiance and love for our country and I knew we as a nation were going to be okay because the spirit of our hearts was showing. I hope and pray as a country we keep our pledge to NEVER FORGET.

  4. Valerie

    September 11th changed us all in ways we may never fully understand. I was just 19 and a sophomore in college when mom called and got me up to watch tv. I watched as long as I could and then went on to class. In class we talked about and watched as the second plane hit. I spent most of the rest of the day in the student union with a group of students in front of the tv. I don’t think I turned off the tv for days after. I still feel a stab in my heart everyone I see the footage. I definitely feel like Sept 11 changed who I was and who I became. Nothing is more important than family.

  5. Gina Tubbs

    We were in Destin, Florida on vacation with our kids and friends from SMBC. Peggy Chadbourne called us that morning and told us to turn on the TV. I can still remember the shock, horror and sadness of the day and the days following. But what I will remember the most is when the towers began to fall and we cried out to God to have mercy on those in the buildings and the ground. I will never forget and neither should any American.

  6. Cassie

    We were serving as missionaries in Singapore and about to head to bed (8 hours ahead of USA) and saw it on tv. How difficult it was to be so far from home, so far removed from Americans during such a tragic time. How difficult it was for us to not fly our flag, scream our anthem and show our patriotism in a country where we saw people wear Osama Bin Laden t-shirts after that date! (Did Americans even know those existed?) I will never forget the homesickness that stayed with us for months after.

  7. Stephanie

    I was at my GYN’s office for my annual check-up. I’ll never forget the nurse coming into the exam room and telling me she didn’t know exactly what was going on in New York but that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers. She asked me if I wanted to go back to the waiting room so I could watch the news. I remember sitting in a room full of people watching live as the second plan hit the second Tower, and the feeling that came over the room at that moment when we all realized the first crash was no accident. We all sat frozen for a while, not believing what we were seeing and hearing. It wasn’t long before I felt the need to get out there as fast as possible, go pick up my then 2-year old daughter from daycare, and head home to feel safe. My daughter of course doesn’t remember the events of that day but now as a 12-year old she’s been learning about it this year in school and we’ve been talking about it at home quite a bit over the past week. She told me yesterday that she’s glad she doesn’t remember the day it actually happened because it’s sad enough learning about it as a historical event, and she doesn’t want to know the level of sadness she would have felt on that day 10 years ago had she been old enough to understand what was happening to our country.

  8. Judith BarberJudith Barber Post author

    Thank you for your memories and incredibly thoughtful words. I am watching the memorial service, feeling so grateful for the faith and hope that remains. It seems appropriate that this special anniversary falls on Sunday, a day to stop and recognize God’s Amazing Grace in the midst of all life’s pain and loss. And today we especially remember and are praying for all our members in active military duty who bravely protect us today. God bless you all.

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