I realize that it is officially 9/12, however I awoke very early this morning, and while looking through FaceBook, because I could not sleep, I stumbled upon this video that I had never seen or heard of before. Apparently the Queen of England, broke with tradition the day after the attacks and during the changing of the Guard, the American National Anthem was played:
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This video touched me deeply. I can honestly admit, it made me cry, as if the events were happening all over again.
After watching this, I could not stop thinking about the tragic events of 9/11, and where I was and what my day looked like. I know that every single American alive at that time knows exactly where they were and what they were doing as the attacks were being happening. I know that that will be a day that changed many of our lives forever!
I had just awoken and was listening to the radio before getting ready for work. I think the alarm had gone off right at the beginning of all of the news starting to break out! Living on the west coast, we were 3 hours behind the time of the actual happening. At first I thought that the radio station was playing some kind of terrifying prank for it’s listeners. I listened a bit longer, before I realized the truth of the situation.
I awoke my husband and told him that he had to listen. He couldn’t believe it was real either. This “prank” was going on too long before we realize, this was no prank. This was really happening!
The first thing we did as we quickly got dresses, was to call our loved ones and made sure that 1. they were okay, and 2. they new what was happening. Not one single person we called wasn’t also either listening or watching the news as well. We just couldn’t believe this was happening. Not here, in our cozy little world.
My brother-in-law is from New York, and his mama worked not very far from the twin towers. I believe she could see the towers from her office building. He was beside himself, and when my husband called his mom, who happened to live right next door to my sis and brother-in-law, to check to see if she knew what was going on, she was concerned for our brother, and asked if we could come over right away. Of course we could!
We rushed right over and as soon as we got there, and made sure that our brother was alright, he wasn’t, he was beside himself, by the way. We all sat quietly, our brother, our mother, my hubby, and myself, watching the news, live, as it all unfolded.
The images were proof that what we were seeing was real. When we had arrived, I think we were still a bit in denial, because I remember watching the news thinking that I had to be seeing some kind of Hollywood movie scene. This could not be happening in my safe little world. But, was I ever wrong.
As we sat there, in silence, watching, the 2nd plane went into the tower. My perfect, safe, little, bubble that I had created for myself, burst. I was scared. I was seriously scared. I thought my life would never be the same. and in some ways it wasn’t.
My husband and I stayed at my sis-in-laws house for what seemed like an eternity. We staying through the disbelief, the shock, the revelation, the bubble bursting, the tears, and finally the towers falling. I couldn’t watch any longer. I couldn’t listen any longer. I think this might have been the moment that I experienced my first panic attack. The first of what would turn out to be so many – my new constant annoying, unwelcome, and belligerent companion.
I begged my husband to take me to work. I didn’t want to leave anyone, but I really needed to be in denial for a little while, and pretend like the world I had always known was still safe, and secure, wrapped in a pretty little bow. Against his wishes, he took me to work. I hoped I would be able to busy myself so much that I would somehow forget the events of that morning. That somehow if I went to work and busied myself, I would be able to come home and see that everything was okay. Like I had just had some kind of a bad dream. That was all.
No. That was not be. I was naive, and ignorant. I work in a hospital, you see. The city I live is was on high alert. We didn’t know if there were going to be any more attacks, or where they might happen. Nothing was “normal” at work that day. My job, at the time, was to call elderly patients and get them ready for a scheduled appointment that they would have coming up in the next 3 days or so. I would call to make sure all of their information was correct, and to make sure they knew all of their appointment prep procedures. That day, however, every single phone call – usually a 5 minute call – lasted a long time. Patients, who were also going through what we all were going through, just wanted to hear a word of comfort. A smile on the other end of that phone. We would do all of the necessary business-ey kind of talk, like usual, but then it would quickly morph into a human-call. A call where they wanted to talk about what was going on, and know that everything would be alright. I turned into a bit of a grief counselor that day. I was happy to accommodate, to be of some kind of help, especially since I felt so helpless. even though every single call ended with me crying and trying so hard to get it together so that I could make another required call.
I am sure that this was one of the worst days of my life. and I am sure that I am not alone.
I share all of this with you, because I don’t think I have ever shared that with anyone before, not even my husband. This has just been something I have been holding on to, as a deep dark family secret, that I am just so terrified to talk about because, maybe if I do, I will have to finally admit that all of that nightmare, really did happen!
I am going to wrap this up by saying, to all of you who have been deeply affected by these events, whether through loss of a loved one, or loss of that feeling of safety, and security that I had carried with me before that day, you are loved, you are known. and your story matters.
May the tragic events of that horrific day, a day that will never be forgotten, never be repeated.
With the utmost of sincerity,