“There are stars whose light only reaches the earth long after they have fallen apart. There are people whose remembrance gives light in this world, long after they have passed away. This light shines in our darkest nights on the road we must follow.” The Talmud
Ten years ago today, our lives were forever changed by an abominable act of terrorism that killed thousands and left enormous pain, suffering and lingering memories etched in our hearts. The first responders, firemen, police, emt and many others, came to help at ground zero and inhaled toxic fumes that gave them cancers and continues to decimate their numbers. For weeks, months, years, many of us had nightmares and relived in our minds the horrific image of the twins towers collapsing; taking with it thousands of innocent lives… On that day, we all lost some part of our lives.
We often hear the question; where were you on 9.11? The answers are as varied as there are people, and we all have powerful visual memories of that sad and tragic day; a day that is forever seared in our memories… I was not in my Hunter College class, it was my day off from teaching. Instead, I was at a client’s home, preparing it for sale, shooting video for a virtual tour. Their daughter, a NYC lawyer called, “Mom, turn on the TV, you won’t believe…” We did and saw the most disturbing, surreal image on the screen. We watched in horror for what seemed like hours, and then we were so shocked we could not and did not speak. I left and went home… devastated.
“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I could not reach my husband who was in the city; the phone lines were dodgy – all messed up – and people couldn’t call out. At home, I huddled with my twins and cried and cried; memories of air attacks, war images filled my head, and I couldn’t believe this was happening in NYC. I tried calling friends in the city but no one was picking up, the phones were off. How could this be happening in our beloved city? The news around the nation was scary, chaotic, dismal; DC, Pennsylvania, Boston, the Pentagon… it seemed the country was under siege…. and then the darkness settled in.
Days later, I was at Grand Central Station. It was filled with missing people pictures, bulletin boards, flowers and memorials. There was a heaviness in the air, and the strong smell of burning debris lingered for many, many months. There was sadness everywhere and the usual lighthearted energy that I used to feel at Grand Central Station was gone. In my classes, we mourned the thousands that were lost and spent many hours sharing stories about that day. NYC felt heavy and unfamiliar, like a foreign land I no longer felt safe in… I stayed away.
It took a long while to reconnect with the city again… and now, ten years later, we pause to reflect, mourn the many lost, and vow to never forget… The new North and South Memorial Pools, the Tribute in Light and more offer hope and peace. I offer prayers and plant fall flowers to honor the dead and encourage the living. May all find peace and comfort on this day… My heart and healing wishes go out to all the families that lost a loved one to 9.11. What do you do to remember?
“Of joys departed, not to return, how painful the remembrance.” Robert Blair
For many here, there was a period of deep anger over what happened, then sadness, and then the memories. Since 9.11, I have shifted my thinking about what matters to me and my family. I still remember that many woke up that day and went to work with hope in their hearts, dreams, plans, even concerns, and never made it home. I always remember that because it is my reminder to stay true to what truly matters. Are we living our fullest lives? What do I want to do with my life? Then, I must go live it. What are your thoughts? What memories of 9. 11. come to mind? Where were you and what do you remember? Do share! Thank you.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Remember something important you’ve lost that you want to remember and think about. And write about what you chose and why.
Positive Motivation Tip: Remember to cherish your loved ones daily… life passes by
- 9/11 Remembrance (frillyfabulous.com)
- 9/11, 10 Years of Remembering (bethanysmind.wordpress.com)
- Remembering September 11 – Embracing The Remembrance – Thoughts & Prayers (wearetrulyhappy.wordpress.com)
- September 11 Memorial NYC (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Remembering 9/11: Take a Tour of the New September 11 Memorial in NYC (wcbsfm.radio.com)
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos, Tribute in Light by D. Shankbone, North Pool by Credits: Seth Wenig, South Pool by Credits: Robert Deutsch, Dust covered victims, Montage, Flight 175 hits WTC South, via Wikipedia…