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Memories: Remembering 9.11…

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“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

Memories: Remembering 9.11... Tribute in Light for Sept 11, 2011 - D. Shankbone...

Memories: Remembering 9.11... North Memorial Pool AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Memories: Remembering 9.11... Ten years later ... the sadness lingers

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

Memories: Remembering 9.11... South Memorial Pool via Robert Deutsch/USA Today

Memories: Remembering 9.11... a haunting memory...

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

Memories: Remembering 9.11...

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

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

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

34 Comments leave one →
  1. 12/09/2011 12:00 am

    It’s been an emotional week and weekend.
    Hopefully, I’ll have the energy to visit the memorial one of these days.

    • 12/09/2011 12:41 am

      Same here and I will have to feel ready for it too… The emotions and feelings it triggers are huge… understandable. Blessings to all. 🙂

  2. 12/09/2011 12:26 am

    Wonderful, thank you for this.

    • 12/09/2011 12:44 am

      Ty for your comment… I have left you one on your blog too.TY! 🙂

  3. 12/09/2011 1:46 am

    Thanks, Eliz…you never disappoint.:)
    My husband and I were home…I had just tried to call NYC to follow-up on some business but the call wouldn’t go through. I turned on the TV by chance and saw the second tower hit.
    In shock, my husband and I rushed to call each of our three children…just to hear their voices and make sure they were ok.
    We do remember what we were doing when great tragedy strikes…similar to when JFK was killed…I remember the day with extreme clarity.

    • 12/09/2011 4:33 am

      I hear you and I’m glad you confirmed the phone snafu that occurred at the time… It was a very stressful time… Such memories. 🙁

  4. 12/09/2011 2:17 am

    EOF737, I believe we will always hug that day to ourselves in our memories, as was said, like Kennedy’s assassination, or the Challenger.

    It is a horrible memory and yet as President Bush said we met it with the best of America.

    And, no, I’m not ready to visit the memorial yet.

    • 12/09/2011 4:34 am

      TY for your comment. It is indeed a terrible memory for everyone… and yes, the memorial visit might have to wait for many. 🙁

  5. 12/09/2011 5:31 am

    you wrote:
    1) “a period of deep anger over what happened,
    2) then sadness, and
    3) then the memories. Since 9.11, I have
    4) shifted my thinking about what matters to me and my family…”
    frizz: yes, there are different levels of reaction. We should not be fixed too long on the first level (=anger and the war against terrorism). Maybe we should make an end to military actions after the death of Osama Bin Laden.

    • 12/09/2011 9:53 pm

      Maybe… end to hatred and greed… We have a long road to go on this planet. TY! 🙂

  6. 12/09/2011 6:35 am

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Eiiz. Although most Americans were not at Ground Zero or DC or PA, the acts of terror affected all of us profoundly. And yes, that day changed a lot of things.

    • 12/09/2011 9:54 pm

      Yes, we are profoundly affected by 9.11… and the 10th anniversary brought a floodgate of memories from far and wide. TY!

  7. 12/09/2011 10:40 am

    The story still haunts us till this day. I was at church yesterday and the priest said, ” the world prayed for the victims , their families and the country shaken by the tragedy on that painful day.” Till this very day, we all still pray like it just happened yesterday. It gives everyone the courage, the strenght, the faith to go on and face our fears. We will never forget. Beautiful tribute, Liz. Thank you.

    • 12/09/2011 9:55 pm

      TY dear friend… we will never forget and I agree that our collective prayers help build hope. TY!

  8. 12/09/2011 10:41 am

    It took me 2 years to make my way down to ground zero. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to visit the new memorial. I am so exhausted after this weekend. It’s important, I know how important it is, but we need to know our limitations and I’m not ready yet.
    Beautiful remembrance Eliz

    • 12/09/2011 9:56 pm

      I hear you and many are not ready for the Memorial sites yet… all in its own time. TY for your honest feedback.

  9. 12/09/2011 10:50 am

    Yes, good thought with plenty of emotions. I’ll never forget that day

    • 12/09/2011 9:57 pm

      TY Peter… lots of emotions everywhere. I watched the events on the telly yesterday… all quite sad; seeing kids speak about a parent they never met broke my heart…

  10. Bree permalink
    12/09/2011 11:09 am

    Thank for this beautiful remembrance and tribute. We were all profoundly affected by the events of that day, and like you, I agree we lost a part of our lives that day.
    I was home watching it all unfold on TV; it was surreal and tragic. I will never forget the horror of it.
    May all find hope and peace. Thank you E this is poignant and beautiful.

    • 12/09/2011 9:59 pm

      TY so much and I have been reading many beautiful tributes on the internet. It is heartwarming to see how people have rallied to honor this day with dignity and love. TY!

  11. 12/09/2011 12:07 pm

    What if we all woke up with amnesia tomorrow?
    Would we collaborate and cooperate to build a better world?

    • 12/09/2011 10:00 pm

      Perhaps… now that would be start to get everyone cooperating and, for once, doing the right thing for our fellow man/woman. TY!

  12. 12/09/2011 10:21 pm

    Beautiful Elizabeth. There is so much I need to say – but I cannot do it now. The power of 9-11 is too great.

    • 13/09/2011 1:42 am

      Yes… I understand… it is overwhelming… Take care and chat soon…

  13. 12/09/2011 11:41 pm

    Wow, this is such a beautiful post and my eyes water as I remember. Although I wasn’t anywhere close to New York not Pennsylvania…there was a feeling of helplessness that came over me that was more than paralyzing. You want to do more than contribute monetarily, but you truly don’t know how.

    That’s what I remember the most…how sympathetic I was and still am for those who were directly affected by 9/11. Thanks for such a beautiful and enlightening message.

    • 13/09/2011 1:24 am

      TY for your comment Tanisha! It was paralyzing and yes, I remember that sense of helplessness and hopelessness…
      Thanks again for stopping by; I love your blog. 🙂

  14. 12/09/2011 9:40 pm

    It is a beautiful post Eliz.
    This world needs peace


    • 12/09/2011 10:00 pm

      TY for your comment Yulia… much appreciated. I will check out your link shortly.

  15. 13/09/2011 1:17 am

    I remember where I was (in bed sleeping) when I got a call from my husband who was in NY on business. He woke me up and told me to turn on the TV to see why the city was on fire.

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures you put with it. Miriam

    • 13/09/2011 1:43 am

      TY Miriam.. wow your hubby was here too. It was an incredibly sad time… TY! 🙁


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