Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. ~ President George W. Bush.
Today marks the 10th Anniversary of 911. The entire week, leading up to today, was a lot of reminiscing, which I’ve always felt is a great way to keep those who have passed alive in our minds and our hearts. Everyone seems to remember what they were doing when they heard the United States was under attack. I was at Seton Hill University (was the college at the time) working on my undergrad. Informed of the tragedy by a classmate, who was from Bangladesh, I didn’t believe one word of it until I saw the news. I remember the conversation very clearly. He said, in broken English, “Did you hear we are under attack from terrorists?” My response was, “Who is under attack?” He said, “The United States. They crashed into buildings in New York City, the Pentagon, and somewhere locally.” In disbelief I said, “I highly doubt terrorists could get close enough to the Pentagon, maybe it was an accident?” Well, sadly, I was wrong. I missed the events because I was in an early class while America was blatantly being assaulted and human life was disrespected and discarded.
Seton Hill played the news all throughout the classrooms and hallways, then they promptly dismissed school. We could have gone to the chapel to pray, however I went straight to my parents house. You see, my family didn’t live far from Shanksville, especially my brother and my nephew who wasn’t even two months old. I remember sitting with my mom watching the news. While we watched the news, I said, “All those poor families. I feel so bad for them!” My heart didn’t reach out to those who died, not that I didn’t say a prayer for them, but my sorrow rested with the survivors of the deceased. And when I read that some people lost several family members, I thought, “How horrible!” I couldn’t imagine losing a close family member so suddenly.
Of course, I reached out to my brother and my sister- dad was at work. It was a little bit harder getting a hold of my sister. At the time, she lived in Tucson, Arizona and she worked for Raytheon. She designs surface to air missiles. She has worked on the Stealth and who knows what other type of weaponry. Upon that realization, I must say, my mind switched gears and became concerned for her. She was in complete lock down and the security was at full throttle. I remember telling a friend that if the terrorists decide to mess with my sister, I will personally go overseas and show the terrorists you don’t mess with the Piper’s!
Kyle has asked questions about 911 but of course he doesn’t really grasp the magnitude of what happened and he never will. I continue to try my best to explain what seemed like a recent event, now a history book entry, to him. It’s hard to explain just pure hatred for innocent lives.
Everyone has their own tale to tell of that earth shattering day. I read Karl Rove’s, Laura Bush’s, and George W. Bush’s accounts of 911 in their books. Very powerful! I remember how sad of a time it was, yet there was a sense of hope and pride. I remember driving and really taking notice of all the American flags displayed on vehicles, houses, flying high on flag polls and along buildings. That was a good safe feeling! I am very proud of our country. We are not perfect but, when it counts, we are like family standing up for one another and reaching out to help when we can.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this sadness was a prelude to what was about to happen to my family less than a month later. That’s when I completely sympathized with the loss of the 911 families.