There are days in recent history that people will never forget. I remember folks from my parents’ generation saying they would never forget where they were or what they were doing when the beloved President John F. Kennedy was killed. There was also the Space Shuttle Challenger accident that people viewed on live television including many schoolchildren. Who could forget such incidents?
Now we arrive at the poignant anniversary of September 11. It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years. So many people have returned to business as usual. They seem to have forgotten the horror we felt the day we were attacked on our soil. To those that want to turn away, to simply move on, I say, “We will never forget.”
I certainly haven’t forgotten, nor would I want to. I was at home. I remember running to wake up my husband to tell him we were under attack. I knew right away that it was an attack; I just felt it, and I was stunned. I hoped I was wrong; I kept watching to see what would happen. When I saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center, my heart sunk, and I ran to tell my husband. I remember thinking our lives would never be the same, but I also remember thinking, thank God he’s all right.
Then I heard about the Pentagon, and I had a deep sense of fear that other sites would also be attacked. I was so grateful that my husband wasn’t traveling. He often spent time in New York. In fact, he had just returned from a trip and had driven 30 hours nearly non-stop to get home. I was so relieved that he was safe at home, that it brought on fresh tears. My mom called to make sure he was home and she too cried with relief.
More tears were still to follow as I realized how many people had lost loved ones. I hated seeing people on television, shell shocked, searching for the people they loved, hoping, praying that their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, friends, and spouses were okay. I hated watching such heart wrenching scenes, yet I couldn’t tear myself away. I cried with them, I prayed for them, and I held onto my husband.
Everyone I know says that September 11 made them stop in their tracks and realize what is important. The trivial things that people fight about were recognized as trivial. The deep feelings for one another that are sometimes buried under daily struggles were once again brought to the surface.
Hug your spouse and all the people you love just a little tighter today. Never forget the lessons of September 11, 2001, and never forget how much you love each other.