Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001
A day that changed my life forever...

It's amazing that one day, one moment can change everything about the path we take in life.  I remember life before this sacredly horrific day, and I remember life after.  One momentous event, one person out of millions and millions. This is my record of September 11, 2001.

Yesterday marks the ten year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  I am often in awe of the fact that I was alive to witness such events, to be forced to comprehend the word "terrorism" in a very real and raw way.  I am just one American girl.  But, on this day I feel like we were all "one" with eachother.  It's hard to explain this feeling.  I guess the best way to paint this picture is to be present in a room when footage of 9/11 comes on TV.  It's painful. You want to look away. Everyone understands the resounding silence that hits the room.  It's quietly sad.  I can still barely watch it without tearing up.

Before 9/11, I was a vivacious 20 year college student attending Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. I was starting my Junior year there and was extremely excited to be back at school with the people who I had missed over the summer.  I was living in my favorite ghetto fabulous townhouse, 118B Watergate with my roomates: Amber, Niki, and Kirsten.  I was plugging away in my Communications program and working part-time at Isabella's Italian Trattoria.  I loved the people in my life.  I did not know what the future had in store for me and I often pondered: who I would marry, where I would live, what job would I get out of school, what jeans look best on me, why couldn't I cook without starting a fire, why wasn't I more direct with people, why were relationships so complex and why did it hurt so badly when you loved and lost, why were boys so confusing, why did I take God for granted sometimes??  Life, was packed full of beautiful questions that were waiting to be answered:)

8:46am- Tower #1 is hit ... and life starts changing forever...
I was getting ready for work that day, it was a splendidly beautiful morning with pure blue skies full of billowing white clouds.  My roommates had left for the day so the house was empty.  The kitchen smelled of the hazelnut coffee I had made earlier that morning.  I received a phone call at about 8:55 from one of my guy friend two houses down, he just said---turn on your TV....his tone was somber and it frightened me.  I turned the TV on and he came over (or I went over there, can't remember).  I saw the smoke coming from one of the towers and was immediately in shock.  I dropped everything in my hands and stood motionless, hands cupped over my mouth.  We briefly wondered how this type of accident could happen.  Then, the second plane hit.  I saw it happen live on TV and I looked at my guy friend and realized our nation, America was being attacked!  How was this even possible?  I blinked and felt the hot tears streaming down my face....I could barely speak.  This changes everything and this is no accident, we remarked.  I was so angry, but didn't know where to direct those feelings.  When the Pentagon was hit and the plane went down in PA, I honestly felt like something huge was happening...something terrible....but was uncertain what it all meant.  I wanted to know who did this, and how, and why!?  One of my guy friends Mark, was concerned because his dad worked in the Pentagon.  My roommate Kirsten's family lived very close to it as well so I remember being very concerned for them both immediately.  I was thankful when everyone reached their loved ones.  I had to go to work that day but could barely peal myself away from the television.  I was afraid more terrible things were going to happen.  I showed up at Isabella's and my manager, Andrew looked at me and lovingly said "go home, we are closed today".  I was thankful.  I wanted to find everyone I loved and hug them.  So, I went back to 118B.  I sat with my roommates, boyfriend at the time, and guy friends in front of the TV for hours on silence.  It was the quietest few days.  It's like we were all in a state of mourning.  Time paused.  I remember everyone calling their families and telling them how much they loved them.  I remember listening to President Bush give this speech and screaming YES! as tears of anger ran down my cheeks...

After 9/11, life started changing.  Traveling was NEVER the same.  Airports became huge security checkpoints.  I would sit on the plane sometimes and wonder if the man or woman next to me was a terrorist.  America had been violated and it was evident in my thoughts.  Whenever I saw planes flying in large cities like DC, I'd wonder if they were on course, were they flying too low?...a strange thing to think, unless you lived through 9/11.  I think these attacks made me love those in my life more vibrantly.  That fall I decided to never take a day for granted.... to say sorry to people I had hurt, to make sure those I loved knew it, to make necessary decisions that were hard but good.  I felt renewed.  Late that next spring I met Josh.  It's weird that I didn't know him during this time, but it was all in God's plan.  I think I learned to never hold back my love and Josh experienced this part of me.  Today, I have a beautiful little girl named Isabella (not named after an Italian resturant I promise), a husband who loves me endlessly, and wonderful life full of family and friends.  Did I ever think my future hubby would be in the military? No, but do you know how honored I am to be his wife!  On 9/11 there was a call to serve and protect.  My husband answered this call and sacrifices a part of himself daily because of it!  As his wife, I feel like in some small way I am fighting for our country too!  Praise God for his provision in my life and may he continue to bless America!
My Navy Boy
Here are some pictures from our recent trip to New York City

Walking into Ground Zero, 10 years later... I had goosebumps.
 The new Freedom Tower under construction
 The construction site is blocked off but you could peek through cracks
 Getting chills imagining what happened on these streets as the towers fell.
 Busy construction zone, making progress.
 I cried when I read that this bench was a bed for some weary firefighters who had been searching for bodies and finding....rubble.
 This collection is located in the church across from
Ground Zero. 

 This is inside St. Pauls church, right out those doors stood the Twin Towers.

 Make-shift beds for rescue workers.
Standing outside Fire Station 10

View from above Ground Zero

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