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How I choose to remember September 11, 2001

by on September 11, 2014

Blog Post Originally Published 9-11-12

On September 11, 2001 I was just like everyone else. I was naive, and sheltered and never imagined the horror that would unfold in our country that morning. I don’t need to post pictures of the events of that day, because I can still vividly remember them in my mind and in my nightmares. Anyone who was alive at the time will have SOME memories of that day. There has not been a year since that I haven’t paused to remember where I was that day, how I felt while I watched the attacks, and reflect upon all of the lives that were touched that day. It wasn’t just the people who died and their families that were forever changed. It was our entire world.  I’m sharing my story, mainly because this is my blog, and it’s my opportunity to share it with the world. I feel connected to you this way, so if hearing about it bothers you, then please don’t read any further. Take this as your escape hatch, and know that I still appreciate your visit to my blog, and wish you a happy day.

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I was 9 months pregnant with my first son. My husband at the time and I were sitting in the waiting room at the doctors office. A woman ran into the office yelling that we were being attacked at the capital. We were clearly clueless on what the hell she was talking about, but her obvious hysteria was scary. We managed to get through our OB appointment, and hurry home to our small apartment.

We had just been married three days before, and moved into our first place together. We didn’t even have cable. We didn’t need it. Using the antennae on the top of a 13inch T.V. we managed to turn the T.V. on just in time to see the second plane hit. I remember vividly screaming, and dropping onto my knees. I couldn’t grasp that it was really happening, and my brain kept going over the things that those people must be experiencing.

We sat in horror and shock just like the rest of the world, watching people die, and people run for their lives. We were faced with true villains, and the most heroic of hero’s that day. I learned personally, that you can’t stop bad people from doing bad things. I found a faith that I had lost many years before. I felt the pride of my nation, and the anger of the families affected. All of this, as I sat and watched it on a tiny television, in Topeka, Kansas.

I can’t relate to the people who lived it. Nor would I ever attempt to do so. That is a hell that I would never wish upon anyone, or attempt to compare with. I can only say that I was there, supporting you. While you grieved, I grieved with you for your loved one. While you prayed, I prayed with you for your loved one. While you cried, I cried more tears than I can count.

At the time I couldn’t help but wonder, what kind of a world I was bringing my child into. Now I’m able to say, that I have done my best to teach him about what happened. He asks questions, and I try to answer honestly, but just like anyone who lived through a monumental disaster, I can’t share with him the feelings from that day. So I share them with you. I hope you find some hope, or comfort, or solace in my story. I have no doubt you shared some of my emotions that day. The most important thing I think that we all learned is to take every day as if it might be your last.

Always Live, Laugh, and Love as if today is your only chance. ~Lori

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5 Comments
  1. Becky Schoelich permalink

    Lori, your post was so thoughtfully written, and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. While I live far away from NY and DC (actually across the country on the OR coast), I will never forget that day and those sights for as long as I live. My husband was working on a jobsite out of the state and he called me and woke me up and said “Honey, you need to turn on the TV”. I did, and just sat there for hours with tears streaming down my face, grieving for those who were lost, those who lost someone, and those who were there trying to help. At the same time, it was so hard to be here, and feel so helpless. I WANTED to help!!! We were so blessed not to know anyone personally that was lost or affected by loss. I still feel so much anger, but surprisingly, it’s at our media and how they handled it later, deciding that the images were too upsetting and we needed to move on. I can’t begin to imagine how it made the loved ones of those who were lost, the survivors and the first responders feel. I just wanted to put my arms around them and hug them and tell them they and their loved ones were NOT forgotten, and would NEVER be forgotten – not by me, and not by anyone I knew. I’m a big country music fan and there were 2 different songs written about that day that always make me cry but always take me right back to that day and those heart-wrenching emotions; one is by Alan Jackson “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” and one is by Darryl Worley “Have You Forgotten?”. Whether you’re a fan of country music or not, the lyrics of these two songs cover the sadness and grief, and the anger.

  2. Tom & Cathy Porter permalink

    Lori, Thank You for Sharing Your Thoughts and Feelings on that Horrific Day; I believe that it helps in the healing that is still going on. Although I did not lose anyone on that day; I had friends that did. So many people who lives were changed in a blink of an eye. Like you, I remember where I was and what I was doing. I was having a manicure when the next client came in and asked if we had heard anything about a plane crashing in NY. It was still too early to know what was happening. Then it was the frantic phone calls to make sure that loved ones were ok. Phone lines were overloaded so you couldn’t get through… My brother and sister-in-laws had a friend who worked high up in the second twin tower. When the plane hit, he led a group of people to the stairs. Some people opted for the elevator even though Rocco told them it wasn’t safe… Rocco and his group made it out of the building… The others didn’t… My other friend worked with the Investment Group that was wiped out on that day. I saw Bill several days later at a Cub Scout Pack Meeting; I have never seen someone young look so old. My brother-in-law was suppose to be at a meeting at the Pentagon; but at the last minute, Rich’s meeting was changed to a different day… So senseless. And just typing this note back to you, I have shed a few tears; but it felt good telling you about me… Peace, Cathy Porter

    • Thank you for sharing your memories of it Cathy. It was a horrible day that somehow brought a fractured country together for a short time in grief and heartache. I’m so glad to hear of the survivors that you know. It’s easy to fixate on grief for the lost souls, and forget to thank the stars for the ones who were able to make it out. I can only imagine the pain and loss they’ve had to live with. Peace to you and yours!

  3. Very moving, Lori. I too watched on a tiny television on my desk at work and couldn’t believe what I saw. Too many people just want to forget what happened, but I have a friend who lives in a high rise a few blocks from the WTC and could have been there if she hadn’t stopped to make a pot of coffee that morning. She watched the horror from her window — saw people jumping, the whole horrible thing. My ex-husband did business with some people on the 100th floor. I’d been out to dinner with them. I don’t know if that firm was still there or not. I also remember seeing the Palestinians dancing in the street. The world is a scary place. The saying that people who don’t remember the past are destined to repeat it is true. – Skye Michaels

    • You’re right, the world is a scary place, Skye. I wish wholeheartedly for peace, but I’m logical enough to know how unrealistic that is. So instead I’ll just be thankful for what I have, and hope for healing for all of the people who lived through that horrible day. Peace to you and yours!

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