Remembrance – 9/11/2001

11 09 2007

Six years ago today, the United States got a dose of reality and joined the real world as one of the most horrific and coordinated attacks of terrorism ever occurred on U.S. soil.  Roughly 3,000 people lost their lives that day – the largest loss of life on American soil since the Civil War.  The country (and the world) would never be the same again.

Up until then, the people of the U.S. had always felt safe and that the tragedies affecting the rest of the world could not happen within the borders of the country.  Generations of Americans hadn’t been born since the last major war ended, and no one felt safer.  Oh, how wrong we were.  Most of the country was just waking up to a nightmare of unimaginable proportions as we watched the first plane hit the twin towers, followed shortly by the second.  Then to find out that two more planes had been hijacked and the feelings of helplessness as they two fell from the sky.  Phone lines all over the country jammed as people tried to contact loved ones affected, and for others just to feel the comfort of a familiar voice as they found their loved ones safe and sound. 

Every major news outlet in the country provided nearly 24/7 coverage of the aftermath.  We watched in horror as the tragic events were replayed over and over again – the towers falling, the people jumping to their deaths in the attempt to simply get away from the flames.  We shook as we saw the carnage and damage that occurred.  We saw the images of those that were lucky enough to get out running to escape and to get away from the disaster, covered in the ash and dust of the towers that spread all over the city.  We mourned for those that lost their lives, and suffered along with those that were not able to leave as bridges gridlocked and all transit out of the city shutdown.  We listened as the news agencies dissected the events, listening for something to grasp hold of.  We listened to a President, only in office a little over six months, that attempted to show strength but still conveyed the underlying anger and feelings of hopelessness we all felt.

But then, we heard stories about the brave men and women of the NY fire and police departments risking life and limb to get everyone out of the twin towers, knowing that the towers could fall at any moment.  We heard of the stories about the passengers of Flight 93, who fought the terrorists and saved numerous lives as they sacrificed their lives to save those that were the target of that planes demise.  Heroes were born that day – heroes that galvanized a nation, and gave hope for all of the country to hold onto and heal.

Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda had hoped to strike fear in the heart of the country, and for a while they succeeded.  All commercial travel ceased for a time, and Americans walked in fear, waiting for the next attack.  Never had this country seen such an attack, and the sheer gall and coordination of the attack was frightening.  But eventually, the stories of heroism and bravery started to have an affect on the American public.  A sense of unity and nationalism rose once again, and the country refused to let the terrorists win, and was determined to get back to a life as normal as possible – though it would never be usual since no one would truly feel safe again.

 We will never forget, we will always remember the events of that day – but we will live on.  That’s the way it must be.

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