The Day After 9.11.2011


There have been many news stories and blog posts about the event that will down in infamy for 21st Century America.  If you speak to people who were alive when JFK was shot or when Pearl Harbor was bombed, they can tell you the exact time and place they were when they heard about it.  If you would have been on Facebook yesterday, you would have seen that many Americans could tell you where they were to the place and time when they heard about planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (learning later that the Pentagon was hit and a fourth plane missed Washington D.C., crashed into a field in PA).  I personally was on my way to Dr. Crisope's Church History class during my sophomore year in college.  One of my friends came up to me as I was walking through the quad and asked if I had heard what happened.  When we got to class we learned more about the events.  Classes were cancelled for the day.  Most college students would have been jumping for joy that they didn't have to go to class, but there was a somber atmosphere across the campus.  We were afraid.  We did not know what this would mean for us.  My future husband and I headed to the dorms and found several groups of students already huddled around the TVs, watching the horrific events unfold.  Later, I went home and became almost zombie like as I watched the news stations speculate on the day. 

The day after 9.11 I remember driving to school across highway 270 in St. Louis.  St. Louis is a fairly large city and because of Scott Air force base, Boeing, and the Lambert International Airport, it was nothing to look up and see a plane flying in the sky.  When all flights were stopped as a result of the attacks, that day the air was eerily silent.  It was as if life as we knew it was over.  I remember several days later when flights did commence, we all held our breaths wondering if our town, our city would be next.  And we were nervous when we had to take our first plane ride.  

For most Americans life went on without much change.  When you did decide to fly in a plane, you now had to take your shoes off.  You weren't allowed to carry over so many ounces of liquid with you.  Now we have to be x-rayed before we can board.  Gordon Aamoth Jr., Vincent Abate, Richard Anthony Aceto, Maria Rose Abad, Christian Adams, Patrick Adams, Christine Lee Hanson (2 years old), Juliana Valentine McCourt (4 years old), Asia S. Cottom (11 years old), and the list goes on, could not say the same.  They had been taken from this world on that fateful day.  Not to mention the countless number of Americans who have given up their lives while fighting the War on Terror in subsequent years.  These people and their loved ones were gravely affected by what happened on 9.11.  And they have to live with it every day.  

Yesterday, 9.11.2013, my day began much like any other.  I woke up to the sound of my 2 years and 3 month old daughter, Alexandria crying.  She has a toddler bed and knows how to open her door, but she sometimes forgets these things.  It was late, because she had been up for two hours in the middle of the night, so we hurried to eat breakfast because we were going to meet a friend at the park and go for a walk.  When we got to the park a light rain started, but because it was humid and almost 90 degrees we decided to go ahead and walk anyway.  There was no way the rain would hold up.  About 10 minutes later heaven's floodgates opened and we began to resemble a cat who had been thrown in the bathtub.  Fortunately it did not phase the children.  I could hear the bellowing chuckles (she thought it was really funny and has a pretty low laugh) of my daughter, who was sitting in the stroller.  The kids thought we were having all of the fun, so they wanted to get out of their strollers and walk in the rain too.  Personally I couldn't stop laughing.  What else could you do?  The sheer look of delight on my daughter's face made the damp walk worth it.  I joked to my friend that hopefully this was one of those memories that they would have when they grew up, "Remember the day when we went walking in the rain?"  

Alexandria and I after our rainy walk.
The kids were in good spirits
 Later that day as I reflected on the events of 9.11 I realized that the loved ones of the 8 children who died would not have another walk in the rain.  And these children would not grow up to have their own children.  This touched my heart in a way that it never had before.  I was suddenly imagining my walk in the rain without my Alexandria.  I was imagining her Dada coming home from work without her running up to him and giving him a big hug.  And there were the other Dadas, Mamas, sisters, friends, grandmas and grandpas who had been on those planes and in those buildings that died as well.  I imagined that each year their families had to relive these horrific events.  They would never be a distant memory for them.  9.11 would be just as heavy on their heart as the day it happened.  

So, as I remember 9.11.11, I remember the days and years that have passed.  I remember what the day was like for millions of Americans, but 12 years later, I remember what it must be like for the surviving loved ones.  I hope and pray that something like this never happens again so there won't be more like them.  As I tuck my baby girl in tonight I will give her one extra kiss and hug and probably read her one extra story, thanking God for each day that passes and she is with us.  There are those out there who cannot say the same.  

9.11.01 I will never forget.  

For our children, we will never forget.


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