Sunday, September 11, 2011

What were you doing on 9/11

As we mourn the loss of the thousands of people on the 10th Anniversary of  9/11, I am compelled to remember each moment of that morning.

I don’t watch the news, you see, because all I ever see are the horrible stories and, though I know they happen, I choose to live in a world where good things happen too. This being the case, I had no idea what was going on that morning as my husband and I took two of our children to school. It wasn’t until we had dropped them off at the school and were headed home that we learned of the tragedy that would set in motion 10+ years of war.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were headed home, the radio station we listen to broke in with an emergency message. This is when I learned that the Pentagon had been hit; still unaware of the Twin Towers. My immediate response was to rush right back to the school, load my children back up, and take them home. But…I am not that mom. You see, my son had cerebral palsy and he was 4 at the time. School was his life. He loved being with the kids and his sister. We had dealt with trauma and life-threatening illnesses since the day he was born, so I was tough…strong, if you will. And…I too had school to attend on this day. So, I forced myself to go on as if it were a somewhat normal day and let the kids have their day also.

When we got home, of course we went straight to the TV and watched replay after replay until I left for school. Once there, my friend and I went to our Anatomy and Physiology course. One of the most heinous and dreaded coursed of any nursing student alive today. There was a strange foreboding sense of doom in the air. Everyone had their cell phones out checking the coverage. Our professor was late; an odd occurrence to say the least. When he finally shuffled in nearly half an hour later, his eyes were rimmed in red and his hair was amuck. It seems his daughter was on assignment at the Pentagon on that horrific day. He had been in his office attempting to somehow contact her. A nearly impossible feet. He finally received an email from her and she was okay, but due to the circumstances, class would be dismissed for the day.

A & P was my first class of the day and it started about 9:30ish or so. Most of my other nursing friends had been on campus since 7:30 or so. They had not yet heard or seen the news. It was a surreal experience telling people who did not know, how could they not know? I was amazed that no professor or other classmates had told them, but now, news was traveling fast. The rest of the day was spent in a fog. I’m not really sure how much we actually absorbed from classes that day.

Later that same day, I had an interview at a local hospital. I was completely shocked when I had to let them search my purse. Really? I was awaiting the Director of Nursing to call me back and decided to watch some more of the story unfold. Each and every time I see any footage of that day, my eyes burn and become teary. This is why I chose the beautiful picture of the Twin Towers for this post. When I finally went into the interview, we talked more about what had happened that day, than about my self or my skills. I got the position though.

The thing I want to remember today is that thousands of policemen, firemen, and emergency medical personnel showed up at Ground Zero and throughout the area to do what they could for everyone directly involved in the attack. And, whether you agree with the war or not, never forget that our soldiers sacrifice themselves to protect the rights that were given to us when The United States of America was formed.

9/11 brought people of all races, nationalities, social statuses, ages, and any other deviation you can think of together. Let us remember that we CAN work together to make the WORLD a better place. We just have to put aside our differences and accept each other as we are.


  1. Thank you for this post and for remembering.

  2. It's amazing how that moment remains frozen in our memories, isn't it? I had discovered two days before that I was pregnant with my first baby...I remember sitting and watching the coverage of the towers, and being horribly scared about what the future held for my child.

    Feels like yesterday...



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