Today when I got home from work my youngest son (15) tells me he watched a documentary on 9/11 today at school. He said "Mom, I never saw footage from that day. it was so disturbing." My heart broke at that moment. It brought me back to that somber morning.
On 9/11/2001 my boys were 7 & 2. My husband went into work at 4:30 am and I was usually up by 5:30 to get myself ready for work and the boys ready for school & grandmas. I got a call around 5:50 am from my husband telling me to put on the news because an airplane hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York. At the time we both thought it must have been a terrible accident.
I had the TV on and sat on the floor inches from the television in shock at the sight of the gaping hole the plane had left. I had no idea I'd be watching a second plane hit the next tower. I called my husband back and told him what I just saw. We both knew then it was no accident. Our main concern, at that moment, was our family in Manhattan. His Sister, her husband & our Nephew live in Manhattan. We both tried to call her to be sure they were safe but all lines were busy for the hours to follow.
About a half hour later which felt like seconds, another hijacked plane hits the Pentagon. I called my husband again crying. I've never been so scared in my life. For all I knew there were hijacked planes all over the country heading to all of the major cities. I decided to call work and tell them I wasn't coming in and to keep my oldest son home from school. I didn't want to be away from my boys if the country as a whole was under attack.
As I continue to watch the burning towers in disbelief, I see a person throw themselves from one of the towers over 80 feet above the ground. Eerily the person capturing this on film follows the body as it flails until its demise. Am I really watching this live? Is this a movie with a very brave stunt person? I wish it was the latter. I would come to learn over 200 people jumped to their deaths that day. Mayor Giuliani has said "You may think you would know what a body hitting the ground from that high might sound like, but until you hear it, you can't even begin to imagine the actual sound." My hands were covering most of my face as tears continued to stream down.
How can one wrap their minds around these planes striking the two towers, watching people throw themselves to their deaths, let alone watching the two 110 story buildings collapse one after the next. I couldn't believe what I was watching. My eyes were out of focus from the tears and my mind was reeling with worry for my Sister-in-law and her family. Seeing the brown debris filled clouds attack the civilians on the ground was like watching an end of days sort of movie, but this was reality. All I could do was cry.
In between the two towers collapsing, I later learned that after passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.
That day a lot of lives were lost, a nation mourned together. Many years later there is One World Trade Center in its place that reaches iconicaly, 1776 feet. It brings back hope, pride, remembrance and gratitude to this great Country. Kyle asked me tonight; "Mom, why does everybody hate the USA?" I simply said; "Because we're free."
I'll never forget September 11th, 2001.
Finding therapy through writing, self-reflection and the pursuit of what defines me.