Sunday, September 11, 2011


This post was scheduled to post yesterday and didn't for some reason - so please forgive me for getting this posted one day late!
Adelyn and I spent the night at my brothers last night. She didn't want to sleep in her crib and I didn't really want her to either. I scooped that little girl out of there and pulled her in to bed with me. She laid her head on my chest, all warm and soft in her little pink footed elephant pajamas. I wrapped my arms around her tiny body and breathed in the scent of her shampooed head, memorized the sound of her drifting back off to sleep, and loved the feeling of her heart beating against mine.
Ahh. Complete and total love and satisfaction.
And in that moment, as it was after midnight, I reflected on what day it was...the ten year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.
Ten years ago today I was a newly married college student. Chris and I had been married for just a little over two months. I was working at a group home, folding towels on the couch early that morning, watching the morning news. They cut in to the broadcast with footage of one of the twin towers burning after a plane had just crashed in to it. The newscasters were trying to make sense of what had just happened, speculating about perhaps the pilot falling asleep. It was then, as we were all making predictions and trying to reason our way through what we were witnessing, that a second plane, on live air, crashed in to the second tower.
I remember turning to my coworker and both of us just gasping, mouths hanging open, just trying to make sense in my 22 year old mind of what could possibly be happening, imagining the devestation, terror, pain, and death that was unfolding right before my eyes.
I drove to class that morning and had the radio on in my car. It was then that speculations began forming about this possibly being a terrorist attack. In my first class they had the news being broadcast over the large projected screen in the front of the auditorium where my class was held. It was filled with students and professors, young and old. You could have heard a pin drop. We sat there together. Stunned in to silence at what was unfolding before our eyes.
They cancelled all classes for the day.
I made sure my cousins were okay, both who were living in NYC at the time. It took a long time to reach them. The cell phone coverage was sketchy due to it's overuse. It turned out my cousin Ann was supposed to be attending a field trip at one of the towers that day, but due to some circumstances it was cancelled.
I called Chris. It was so good to hear his voice. (He was at the office)
I then drove back to our tiny one bedroom apartment where I glued myself to the television for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. I remember hearing pleas from people who were missing members of their family. There were bulletin boards with pictures of family members or friends who were unaccounted for.
I cried and cried.
The world I had known had been changed in an instant. It shook me to the core.
It is a day I will never forget.
In those days that surrounded the attacks my heart swelled as I saw our country come together as one. There were no concerns about republican or democrat, about rich or poor, black or white, homosexual or heterosexual, old or young. The only thing we all had in common is that we were Americans. We pulled together for the greater good of our nation, we held eachother's hands, and we moved forward - one step at a time. It was a beautiful time where our churches were filled, where our nation had great resolve, where we rallied together with promises of change and hope. It was a painful time, but a healing time for so many of us.
I recall as a teacher how every year, on the anniversary of that date, we would take a few moments to stop and have some time of silence for the people that lost their lives on that day. A few years ago a few of my students didn't even know what had happened on that day, too young to remember, and I guess they hadn't been told. It was shocking to me that enough time had passed where some of our youth weren't even alive, or were just infants when it all took place. To look at a sea of 25 young faces, and try and explain to them why that happened to us on September 11, 2001 was a very tough task indeed.
As I held Adelyn that same thought crossed my mind. My children know nothing about the terrors of this world. They know nothing about what happened on that day long before their arrival in to this world. I thought about all they will experience in this country as they grow. I prayed for their safety and the safety of this nation.
I squeezed her a little tighter as we drifted off to sleep.


  1. I've had almost the same experience trying to explain to a classroom full of kindergarteners what had happened. They weren't even born yet when 9-11 had happened. And how do you explain it to 5 year-olds and expect them to get it? I was doing a practicum in a middle school classroom when I heard the news on the morning of 9-11. Obviously my stomach was in my throat as I was devastated. Some of the kids around me understood, but many of them thought it was awesome, like an action movie. That was hard to watch. But yes, don't we just want to hug our little ones a little tighter, express our love and patience and little more freely.

  2. So well written!


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