Today is Monday – September 11, 2017….the 16th anniversary of the bombing of the 9/11 attacks on America…US flags will be flown at half-staff today in remembrance.
I worked a few hours this morning and am home now…and I am remembering exactly where I was 16 years ago today when the first plane hit the Twin Towers in NYC…I was building a barn, and was standing up on the floor of the 2nd story or loft area, readying to put up the roof rafters. Time seemed to stand endlessly still. Then the second plane hit. By this time I was in the house in front of the television watching it live…and I was crying. All of those innocent people, on the plane, in the buildings…and then we hear that another plane has hit the Pentagon…more death and destruction…then the field in Pennsylvania…carnage. Then the Twin Towers fell…this was hell.
I will never forget that day. Or the weeks that followed as we tried to wrap our minds around what had happened, and why it had happened. It was the our baptism by fire into the world of terrorism. Pretty much up until 9/11/01 the citizens of the USA lived in a sort of world where we almost thought we were untouchable by outside forces. We believed that “it would never happen here” in our own backyard. No one would dare attack the United States directly….then it happened on September 11, 2001. That very day our whole world changed; flipped completely upside down and would never be the same again.
For days I was glued to the television watching the live news casts for hours on end. I couldn’t sleep, no one could. People were missing. People were severely injured. And eventually we would learn that almost 3,000 were dead. We were all devastated, as posters and notes to the missing were being tacked up all over NYC. Families searched for loved ones, and some found them unharmed, some never heard from them again. We heard about those trapped in the towers calling loved ones to say good-bye on their cellphones…unbelievably sad.
9/11/01 was a day that changed me. It changed America. It changed all of us. We were not invincible. We had been attacked; savagely attacked and cut to the core. Everyone knew someone who was lost in the attacks, or knew of someone who was directly affected. It’s an amazing thing, the way we are all so intertwined. It’s the phenomenon that we are all connected within 6 degrees….or the 6 degrees of separation theory. I’ve found it to be quite true in most instances.
Because of the attacks on 9/11/01 I have far more consciousness of living life in the moment, not passing up chances to learn new things, meet and know new people, and not to take it for granted that there will be a tomorrow. I, like many, developed a deep rooted sense of prejudice against Muslims; one which I have worked hard to get over and change. I admit it, at that time I blamed radical Islamic teachings and those who were part of that faith for the attacks. Now, I know that it is a small percentage of Muslims that hate America and wish to attack us because of this hate. I have worked to overcome my misguided prejudices, and to understand better. I now have friends who are Muslim, and even a cousin who married a Muslim man and converted to his faith. I no longer blame them all, but those 7 terrorists that carried out those senseless attacks on 9/11/01…I hope they are rotting in extreme hell. And as we know, their leader Osam Bin Laden is DEAD, and hopefully he’s rotting in hell as well.
So, today, 9/11/17, I stop to remember, because we can NEVER FORGET that fated day in 2001, when the world stopped, and we all changed. We must NEVER FORGET.
Peace. ~ MB