On 9.11.01, I admit, I was being selfish. My mother was watching my 6-week old son while I was getting some sleep. No new parent ever sleeps soundly, so when my mom started crying, I was up immediately. She came into my room with tears streaming down her face. I asked her what was wrong and she said “Oh, they’re blowin’ the world up.” Now, you have to understand. I come from a long line of people who overreact to EVERYTHING. Since I was watching Armaggedon the night before, I figured she had turned on the TV thinking this was the news. As I tried to calm her down, the South Tower fell.
In that moment, I HURT. I can’t describe it. Like I felt everyone dying all at once. How could anyone hate a people so much that this could be done? Does that make sense? I watched and watched NBC until I just couldn’t anymore. I watched Howard Lutnick from Cantor Fitzgerald sob for his employees and friends, and my heart broke all over again. Then I remembered that some of my friends were in New York. My first instinct was to call them, but I didn’t. I thought maybe the lines should be used by New Yorkers, to call whomever they needed. But how long do you wait? So I did something I don’t normally do. I went to mass. A lot. What could I give, or do, or say? I had dreams that I would go cook for the Fire Department, that I would personally deliver Bin Laden’s head on a spear. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle this anger. So I sat down and wrote this letter in my journal. I hope this helps someone else find their way.
Did you really think this would work? Did you think you would bring us to our knees? You failed. Here’s how:
Every day, we are getting stronger.
For every Port Authority, Fire Fighter, and Policeman who risked their lives for others, we grow stronger.
For every passenger who VOTED to take back the plane, who chose to perish on THEIR OWN TERMS, saving lives, we grow stronger.
For every victim of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we grow stronger.
For every person who steps on board a plane because they will NOT let fear dominate their lives, we grow stronger.
For every flag that flies over this great nation, we grow stronger.
Every time you see MY President that I voted for, we grow stronger.
For every person who remembers, WE GROW STRONGER.
So, you see, you are a failure. Even worse, you are a cowardly failure. We will rebuild taller and stronger, in our hearts and in our minds. You and your zealot minions will never win because we won’t let you.
HOW DARE YOU COME INTO MY COUNTRY WITH YOUR HATRED?
And how dare you think that you would succeed?
Catherine E. Leis
Proud United States Citizen