September 11 attacks remembered

Written by on 11 September, 2019

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September 11 attacks remembered

I was just 4 years old when one of the most grievous catastrophes of modern age occurred in our great nation. President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. I recall my dad weeping; watching our black and white T.V. with him, not understanding anything other than the outpouring of sadness and utter loss.

“The Shot Heard Around The World,” a phrase used for other profound moments of anguish in history, is what has always stuck with me when I have read, watched movies/documentaries, or pondered that moment in history. Most nations in the world were affected by JFK’s death. As I was growing up, I would hear from my parents, relatives and other adults how time-stopping that day was. It is a memorialized day, when everyone who was old enough, would forever-after be able to recall the moment Walter Cronkite uttered the news of the death of our President, the end of Camelot. I couldn’t imagine or empathize because it hadn’t been my life experience.

Fast forward 20 years. When the Space Shuttle Challenger crashed, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news report. I rushed home to watch that moment in time unfold, riveted to the pictures and aghast at NASA.

I recall watching Christa McAuliffe’s mom as she watched the abhorrence in the sky, with undoubtedly the most uncomprehending anguish that a mother would have to bear.

Again, nations were affected and responded to the loss of those American Astronauts. With the cold war coming to an end, even Russia responded with sorrow for ‘our’ calamity.

For me, however, the day that changed how we perceive our lives, loves and losses is 9/11/01. I remember not only where I was, but I recall with vivid alacrity the tightness in my chest, the bubbling fear of the unknown and the nausea of panic for so many innocents; for the loss of a nation’s innocence. Within hours I closed my staffing company for the day and sent my employees home. I called my daughter at college in CT and INSISTED that she go to her dorm and not leave. I called my youngest daughter in college in MA and insisted that she come home immediately. I called my brain-injured husband and insisted that he not leave his assisted-living apartment, but lock the doors and stay inside. I was traumatized, outraged and terrorized… was an entire nation. Terrorized. What a terrible word. Terrorists. What a terrible people.

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Eighteen years later there is still a blanket of sadness over us, the U.S. Every year as 9/11 approaches, I wish I could just forget. I wish that somehow, I will feel better. It won’t hurt as badly if I can just will myself through this sorrowful day. Every year, I still cry for the loss….the loss of the innocents….the loss of my innocence. Again, nations were affected. The world united for America’s tragedy.

I’m not sure how to honor those heroes who gave their lives willingly on Flight 93 to preserve losses on the ground that were going to be greater in magnitude. I pray for their families. I thank my Lord for their strength and virtue. I feel helplessly grateful to those who gave so much for me, for our country.

I wonder, 18 years later, how the families, friends and loved ones of those who died on the airplanes, in the Pentagon, in the Twin Towers are doing. If it still hurts for me and I was saved from the personal gravity of loss, then how much more must it still hurt for them? My brother-in-law was a pilot in an airplane over NY that day watching it unfold in the skies, unable to get to the ground and then unable to get off the ground when all planes were grounded. He was unable to get news of his safety to my sister. Their own personal trauma will be with them forever.

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So on 9/11 I will pray, because I don’t know what else to do. In remembrance, I will burn a single candle starting at 8:43am for the day. Because as much as remembering causes my heart to ache and as much as I don’t want to weep, I do want to memorialize those who are no longer here. I want the tears to remind me that even through the subsequent wars, battles, deaths in combat because of a group of perverse, satanic terrorists, WE STILL SURVIVE. We do more than survive, we thrive. We Americans have indefatigable spirits. We are a one-of-a-kind, unending, incessant, continual, world-without-end STRONG compilation of indomitable individuals who continue to put one foot in front of the other, day in and day out and we MAKE a difference, one person at a time.

My hope and prayer for you on 9/11 is that you find a measure of peace while you commemorate this sad day.

We will never forget.

Yours with a heavy heart, yet grateful spirit, Lori

September 11 attacks remembered,

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