I lived with my parents at the time, and I was at home sick that day. My father came into my room and gently shook me awake. He is a minister. I must have glanced at the clock, because my first thought was that he would normally already be gone to work. The look on his face was the strangest I had ever seen. It was a sort of mix between severe seriousness, shock, and disbelief…but no fear. He said, “You need to wake up. America is at war.” Blinking back my sleepiness, I stared at him incredulously for a few moments and asked him to repeat himself.
I then asked what happened, and he said, “Someone flew a jet into one of The World Trade Center towers. You need to come with me.” (I had a TV in my room, but he didn’t want me staying in there alone.) I got up and followed him, not even stopping to put on anything under the PJs I had on. (I remember being a little embarrassed once I got into the family room and wrapping a big blanket around myself. That blanket stayed put for most of the day.) When we got into the family room, the news anchors were speculating about “a small plane,” “a Cessna,” or possibly “a news helicopter” crashing into the tower. My father is an Army/Navy veteran, so I didn’t question what he had said (“a jet”) for one moment. It was just a few minutes before the second plane hit. I didn’t realize what I’d seen! It just didn’t register! I asked, “What was that?!?” The news anchor answered the question. Life as I had known it — as THE WORLD had known it — changed forever that day. As you know, it was all quite unbelievable at the time. It still is, in many ways.
My mother was at work. Like so many, Dad and I wanted to touch base with our family members. We talked to her just for a moment, long enough to be reassured that she was aware of what was going on in New York (that was it, so far) and was just fine. (Thank you, God!)
The fear, the horror, and the despair only deepened upon seeing The Pentagon in flames. The husband of a dear friend worked there. I did not know where Chris’s office was nor whether he was even there. My friend’s family could not get more than a busy signal when they tried to call her. In all of the confusion, I had forgotten that — by the Grace of God! — it was their anniversary! They were safe at home together, but I didn’t find out for sure until later that week.
I still cannot get over photos and video of the field in Shanksville, PA. That there was basically *nothing* left of that plane still is mind-boggling. God BLESS all of the heroes who brought that plane down!!!
May God Above be with ALL who were directly impacted by the events on 9/11, especially the first responders! Bless the families and loved ones of all those killed in those heinous attacks. To this day, anytime I look at a clock and it reads 9:11, I remember the horror, those lost, and the promise I made that day that I will never forget. So help me God, I WILL NEVER FORGET, and I will NEVER stop fighting for freedom and justice for ALL!