I have a couple more blogs to put down about traveling, but today, I need to write about September 11, 2001. It is one of those days, like the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated (if you are that old to remember), that one knows exactly where they were when the planes hit the Twin Towers in New York City.
I was going to work that day. I didn’t follow the news much at all in those days. I was busy trying to make a living. I had changed jobs a few months earlier, and this one provided a really good future for me. I was running late. I had the radio on in my car driving into work, and they announced that the 2nd tower just got hit by a 2nd airplane.
As I said before, I didn’t really follow the news back then, but I knew deep down, that this was no accident, and that something terrible just happened in our country. As I walked into the office, I asked by boss if he heard about the 2nd airplane. He was totally unaware, but I think that it clicked with him that this was something bad. A few minutes later, the executives were gathered to discuss what happened. Our company had just purchased part of the Boeing company—we were a defense contractor. This was a new role for this company, and as they talked to the Boeing executives, they realized we needed to heighten the security of the building.
It was just a scary day. We were in makeshift office spaces as this building that was purchased was a manufacturing building. There were no televisions to see what was happening. Our administrative assistant had a radio. She was the “queen of everything,” or so she thought, and she would occasionally turn on the radio for an update, and then turn it off — as if the day wasn’t stressful already!
My oldest son was staying at my house, and he had run out to the store. He called me to tell me that the Boeing facility that was very close to our home now had barricades, and the national guard was there. This happened to be the plant that manufactures missiles.
All I wanted to do was go home and be with all my family. My grandson, Jack, was only 12 days old. Paige was 6. My daughter-in-law was on maternity leave. I just wanted my sons, and their families (the ones who were married) to be gathered together. But, I was stuck at work with no way to hear the local news. On occasion, my son would call with an update as he watched the news from my home.
Now not only was the Twin Towers hit, a plane crashed into the Pentagon, and one that was aimed toward Washington D.C., had crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The United States was under attack, and the attackers used our commercial airplanes to accomplish this task. How frightening that day was.
As I write this, those feelings of stress I felt that day are creeping up over me. It was evening before I got home, and I was glued to the television. I did not know if we had a war on our soil, or what was going on.
All commercial airplanes were grounded. People traveling on business were stranded unless they were lucky enough to find a rental car to return home.
Most of the young adults today are too young to remember or realize what happened. We need to be telling this story over and over. I feel like our country has become complacent. After this attack, the American people, young and old, rich and poor, all races and ethnicities banded together. American flags were hanging at peoples’ homes, if you attended a baseball game, “God Bless America,” was sung during the 7th inning stretch.
Today it is 20 years from that awful day. We said we would never forget, but I think many have forgotten. They have forgotten how much these enemies of our freedoms wanted us obliterated. They have forgotten how many people lost their lives just going about their normal day, that became the most abnormal day. There were 2,977 killed 2,605 were U.S. citizens, 353 non-U.S. citizens (not counting the 19 terrorists). There are around 100 babies born in 2001 whose dads were killed that day. These numbers don’t even include those who died from diseases from the toxicity of the Twin Towers destruction, or the number of military who gave their lives in the war on terror to keep this evil from entering our country.
When we go to the airport and go through the TSA security, we should remember it is because of 9/11. As annoying as that may be, may it be a reminder to us of those who lost their lives that day, or in following years because of this day.
It makes me sad that we see a divided nation. Where are those days that we all proudly flew our American flag in our front yard? Where are those days when children stood up in their classroom reciting the pledge of allegiance? Our country is not perfect by any means, but it has offered hope for so many people, and we work to make it better everyday.
For at least today, no matter your political or religious leanings, I hope you will join me in remembering that awful day 20 years ago. We have no real guarantee of peace on earth until Jesus returns, but in the meantime, let’s do our part to bring peace.
There are things in history we must never forget—the Holocaust and September 11, 2001. There are many more examples of evil in our history books, but these recent ones are important to remember. Life is precious. Don’t forget those who died. Pray for peace. Let it start with me.