Friday, September 9, 2011

The 10th Anniversary of 9-11-01, Retrospect

Today, in lieu of the anniversary of 9-11-01, I wanted to run the post below instead of a Friday Flashback. Join me next week for that.

I wrote the post below on the sixth anniversary of 9-11. This weekend will mark the 10th anniversary. The emotions, just as raw. In remembrance I wanted to republish that post. I hope that my post capsulizes what most Americans felt and remember about that day. While it is a post that is very personal to me,  I invite you to read because as Americans I feel that the emotions, no matter our diversity as individuals, are ones we can all relate to.

Within the post is photographs that I took when my family was in New York September of 2003, not quite 2 years following the attacks. You can click on any of the photos for a larger view. It was an emotional moment for my family as we visited.  The silence there was deafening. There is a photo below of my son, "Bama" (age 13 at the time) that for me, really encompasses that time we spent there on that hallowed ground. 

While standing at the foot of rumble, I noticed a huge sign on one building across from ground zero with this quote,

"The human spirit is not measured by the size of the act, but the size of the heart".
May there be peace.

The 6th Anniversary of 9/11, my feelings by Leigh

Today is the solemn 6th anniversary of 9/11. It is a somber day, a day that honestly changed me as a person. It changed millions of people. This is just my story, my personal reflection. I do not mean to take anything away from those that actually lived through it all-but didn't we all do that? We all experienced it. It isn't often that a simple "man" lives through a day when it suddenly changes the course of history and the world "he" lives in. It is a day I will never forget as long as I shall live. I recall the innocence of that morning preparing my daughter, "Sister Sledge" for kindergarten. I also had a new baby at home, J. Smooth was almost a year old. The biggest issue in my day was what kind of cereal  Sister Sledge would want and to turn on Sesame Street so J Smooth could watch "Elmo's World". Then a neighbor came to my door and told me to put on my TV. I asked my child to allow me to turn Elmo so I could see why my neighbor was so insistent. It was then that I saw the replay of the first plane crash into the tower, minutes later another. This day all innocence was lost.

The remainder of the day is largely a blur. I recall being physically sick ,crying throughout the day. My mother came over to sit with me, I didn't want to be alone. I called my husband and begged him to come home from work to just hold me. I felt guilt, because so many would not have those seemingly indescriptive moments again. As an proud American citizen, I have never had the feelings that I experienced that day. I felt violated, scared, sad, angry, unsafe, threatened. For the first time that I recall in my life I had experienced the ugliness that is prejudice and hate towards me as an American because of my beliefs. It was a sickening and disgusting feeling. It is a feeling that reoccurs every time I see a rerun of the twin tower images sinking & melting into the ground. To this day it still brings me to tears every time I see those images. The emotions are still so raw and intensely painful.

That day taught me allot...about what is important. About freedom-how I didn't realize that I took it for granted. I have always been a proud "Flag waving American" before that day, but after Sept 11, things changed inside my soul. For the sacrifice of our forefathers. For helping your fellow man. I know that personally I began to reexamine the priorities in my life. I sat down and wrote letters to close friends and family members, telling them my feelings and how blessed I am to have them in my life. There were lessons learned that day through the lives lost and the tears shed. I didn't know a soul that perished on that day personally, but I grieved for each of one them.

My deepest condolences to the many people who lost their lives and who lost a loved one on that tragic day. I grieve for all of those lost as though they were my own family, friends and coworkers. For the ash the permeated the air on that day blanketed the nation. We will all forever be affected by that day. While most of us were not there physically- we were there, through our TV and computer screens, living through it.
That day still haunts me and perhaps it always will. I think most Americans were profoundly affected by that day six years ago. But I also know this, that Americans are quite resilient and continue to work their way back from this tragedy. We all have been able to witness the strength of New York City, and its economic and spiritual recovery. There is immense pride in the city as well as this great nation. Through tragedy comes strength. I think that is what happened six years ago. We realized our devotion to our country, it awakened a truth and perspective that we sometimes overlook....freedom.

Today, I  fly old glory from my rooftop with pride that we still stand strong in the face of terrorism and adversity. Terrorism is meant to cause fear so that control can be gained. It is hard, but we must go on and not show fear. We are not but one country-we are millions of individuals of many creeds, color, ethnicity and religion and we together make up this great land that we love.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial, barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field, Abe Lincoln said, “We cannot dedicate. We cannot consecrate. We cannot hallow this ground. The brave men living and dead who struggled here have consecrated far above our poor power to add or detract.”
May those that lost their lives rest in peace and may peace be found by those who continue on. My sincere thanks to those serving in our military, it is the most honorable thing you can do as an American. My sincere gratitude to God for allowing me the privilege to be born into this great nation. May God Bless the USA!



Yes, what a sad date for all Americans and specially for Newyorkers like me. Thank you for the post. God bless America. FABBY

CalypsoInTheCountry said...

That is a beautiful post. It is amazing that 10 years have already passed. You just reminded me that I want to buy a new flag to hang this weekend. We all should be proud to be Americans!

SavannahGranny said...

Leigh, Thank you for this reminder of what happened to the innocent victims and the common American that fateful day. It was so hard for us to understand the willful attack on so many innocents.
I too will never forget that day.
What haunts me most are images of the ash coverd faces,the frightened faces. Running but not knowing where to run. Then there were the loved ones left behind, roaming the street with posters. The posters bearing the faces of the young, the old. The graduation picture, the wedding picture or the family photo duplicated on copy paper. The angst in their faces as they begged for snippets of information about their family members.. It was hell on earth.
I took two of my grandsons to ground zero three summers after the attack. The heaviness of heart
and the feeling of loss overcomes you.
One of my grandson's birthday is 9-11. He was only nine on that date. One of the passengers on the plane that crashed in Pennslyvania had been a
co- worker of his dad.
Like most Americans I will be praying for the affected families, our servicemen and our country on that day. I hope we NEVER forget.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Prayerfully, Ginger


Great post Leigh. It was a sad day and definitely changed the way life is.

Jane said...

That was such a difficult were all the days that followed, too. My husband used to meet with companies based in the WTC...and many friends were lost that day. I still remember the call from the best friend of my youngest son...He had recently lost his dad to a sudden heart attack and counted Marty as his stand-in dad. He called, frantically, to make sure Marty was not in NYC at that time. We were all changed that day...I hope all remember, not only those who perished, and their families...but that America was ATTACKED by TERRORISTS. We must be vigilant...