Tribute

September 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )


No laughs here today, folks.

It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years.

September 11, 2001 is my generation’s November 22, 1963.  I will always remember exactly where I was when I heard about the attacks on the Twin Towers, just like my Mom will always know exactly where she was when she heard JFK was shot.

My little sister totaled her car that morning on her way to school, so the day was atypical for us from the get-go.  We drove separately back then and she left a little before I did.  Then we got a call from her saying she had had an accident not a mile from our house.  My mom and I drove over to find her car totally flipped around and upside down and my sister, who was probably in shock at the time, standing unharmed next to it.  She still doesn’t know exactly what happened but we do know it involved a mailbox that was stuck in a giant mound of concrete.

We called the wrecker and got everything taken care of (though the only thing left of her car was a bumper) and she decided she wanted to go on into school.  Personally, I would’ve taken a mental health day but apparently my sister is made of tougher stuff than I.  Since we were late, we had to sign in at the Dean’s office before going to class.  The secretary had on a small television and was watching something about a plane crash when we walked in.  She was as confused as we all were and when I arrived in class I said something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center.  At that point, no one else had heard a thing.  By the time the next class started we were all riveted to our seats and watching the horrific events unfold.  I was in Mrs. Shield’s Economics class on the third floor of my high school when I watched men and women jump from windows as plane hit the second tower.

No one did any work that day.  People walked around the halls with vaguely confused and obviously scared looks on their faces, as I think most Americans did not only that day but for weeks and even months afterward.  After school, I went to a friend’s house where a group of us sat and silently watched media coverage all night long.  I remember thinking how the footage in NYC looked like something from Independence Day.  Those images and many others will remain with me for as long as I live.

I know that there is a lot of controversy revolving around the attack, the war, what should be done with Ground Zero and, more recently, those who plan on “standing up to Muslims” by burning a book held sacred by those who practice Islam.  I don’t want to get too political but I do think it’s a shame that the site of the attack still stands barren.  I think it would’ve been nice to have something erected there as soon as possible, if for no other reason than to show our resilience and fill that ugly void.  As for the potential upcoming Qu’ran burnings, I haven’t mentioned anything about it on this blog because I think that more attention is exactly what this “church” of about 50 people does not need.  I will say this though, which comes from Heinrich Heine’s 1821 play Almansor: “That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also.”

This anniversary should not be about fighting, hating, blaming or anything else negative in any way.  We should be remembering the men and women who went to work that morning expecting just another day at the office and then never came home.  We should be honoring those who lost their lives or parts of their sanity while trying to help.  We should think of the families who lost loved ones and the children who are growing up without their parents.  We should also be proud of how our country came together in that world of pain and we should strive to remember that when things get tough now.

As cliché as this might sound, hate breeds hate and we should all do our best to love one another.  I’m going to end with another quote, this one from Kurt Vonnegut:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”


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2 Comments

  1. Debbie said,

    Well said

  2. writetools said,

    I am glad others are sharing their experiences, it helps. I just wrote on blog on where I was…and also on other major impact events…like Challenger and Oklahoma City. I was in the middle of the outback in Austrailia watching it unfold on FOX with about 300 Marines in an underground bunker. I WILL never forget. I couldn’t hold back tears writing it, even nine years later. You are right, we should never forget. Thanks for your post. Amie
    http://www.writetools.wordpress.com

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