Thursday, September 11, 2014

Honor 9-11, Never Forget

I will never forget the morning of September 11,2001.  It was a glorious, cloudless blue sky day in New York, and warm, yet mild. The kind of day that made you realize that although autumn was fast approaching, there were still some last summer days to relish and enjoy.

I lived in Brooklyn, New York then--a borough of New York City located directly across the East River from Manhattan, where the twin towers could be seen easily from many vantage points.

That morning I walked in the park with my friends, as I did almost every morning.  My husband was with us that day. He had a business-related golf outing to attend later in the day, so he did not have to go into his office at 7 World Trade Center.  My daughter was home, as she did not have any classes that day at NYU.  My son was in his apartment in Washington, DC. as he had off that day. He lived within easy walking distance to the White House.

My husband and I returned home from our walk around 8:30 am, and I remember looking down my street, towards the north, where I could see the tops of the World Trades Centers gleaming in the sunlight. They were always a comforting sight for me when my husband was at work, as I knew he was there, safe in his office, in the World Trade Center complex.

Around 9 am I was preparing breakfast, and my husband was getting his golf bag ready, when our phone rang and a friend was frantically crying, telling us to turn on our TV.  Her husband worked in the same building my husband did, in 7 World Trade, which was located directly across from Tower 1. At 8:46 am American Flight 11 had crashed into Tower 1 of the World Trade Center.

We watched TV in horror. I remember having to go outside to look up at the top of the Trade Center again because I could not believe that what I was seeing on TV was real.  I saw the terrible long trail of black smoke rising high in the once beautiful blue sky.

At 9:03 as we were watching TV -- as millions of people were by then -- United Flight 175 hits Tower 2 and the realization comes to us all that we are under attack!  At 9:37 American Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon. There are reports that planes are headed for the Capital or the White House and I am frantically trying to get in touch with my son.  Meanwhile, he is frantically trying to get in touch with us, as he knows his father works in the World Trade Center complex. His roommate at the time came back from his job at the World Bank and told him that he saw people running out of the White House, as it was being evacuated. All phones lines are jammed, so we did not find out for many hours that we were all safe.  We also thought of all the family, co-workers, friends and neighbors that we knew that worked at the World Trade Center and despaired over their fate,  as we prayed for their safety.

A Community Memorial to Captain Jason Dahl- pilot of United Flight 93, who was a resident of Colorado.

At 9:56 Tower 2 collapses, at 10:03 United flight 93, that was headed towards Washington DC, crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. At 10:28 Tower 1 of the World Trade Center collapses and sets 7 World Trade Center on fire. It collapses at 5:20 pm. Burning papers from the buildings filling the skies for hours and floated toward Brooklyn streets.

We all know of the sad days that followed. The many days of not knowing who was injured, missing, or dead, until one by one we heard the news. We were all stunned, scared, angry, and overwhelmingly sorrowful for all the lives lost that day, thirteen years ago.  Over time we found out we did lose friends, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors. Mercifully, we did not lose any family members but mourned with those that did. So many went to work that blue sky September morning and never returned home.

Inscription on the  memorial tombstone of Micahel Bocchino, Battalion 48 Engine 240 in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY

So many sacrificed their lives on September 11 to save others. So many worked tirelessly after 9-11 to recover those lost. Much of our lives were changed forever and our country and the world remains ever vigilant against terrorism.

9-11 Memorial in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City. Click on the photo to enlarge to read the poem that accompanies the memorial.

May we Never Forget to honor the memory of those lost on 9-11! 

May we work each day, in our own small way, to make the world a better place.

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Massimo said...

I have been there last June, and it was a very emotional visit...
impossible to forget.
a place where we all would need to go a pay respect, sooner or later.
really impressive. I believe what happened it was not something which touched America, but it really touched all the people in the world at the same way. thanks for sharing.

Pondside said...

None of us alive on that day will ever forget the horror of it. For the people of New York and its boroughs - well I just can't imagine what it must have been like. The world as we know it changed that day.

Daniela said...

That's a duty to us, never to forget that horrible tragedy that has, alas, changed our lives, our history and our way to live each day... Thank you Pat for this so important post, blessed !

Flavia Galasso said...

It is impossible to forget ! I hug you and all your country ♥️ GOD bless you

Catherine said...

Thank you Pat for your memories.

Tanna said...

I will never forget either... this is a beautiful reminder and tribute, Pat. Thank you. Evan is flying today... always makes me cringe just a bit. blessings and hugs ~ tanna

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I got chills reading this. Great post.

Bethany Carson said...

Good post. It's touching to read an account of the day from someone who lived in New York and had friends and neighbors there. I lived in Portland at the time, but remember the was so sad.

From the Kitchen said...

Disbelief still!! Your post gives me chills. Our older son was in Washington D.C. at that time. It seemed an eternity before we heard from him.


Anonymous said...

A poignant tribute.

Lorrie said...

This day is one that no one will ever forget. I can still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. It was a frightening day, even more so for those living in NYC and other attacked areas. So many gave their lives to save others. We honour them.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Beautiful tribute, Pat. I posted a RED ROSE on my Facebook this morning in memory of those who died on 9/11... Prayers for the families/friends.

Barbara said...

What words do I have to express the feelings that have come from what you have experienced and shared with us today?

9/11 has affected us all. As a result, may we make choices that reflect growth, love, and wisdom, not allowing the grief to destroy us.

Our lives are in the hands of God for His good purposes. We trust Him even when our world appears to be falling apart.

Thank you, Pat, for sharing with us your story of that day. It is very moving.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Even though it hurts to remember, we just can't forget.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Thank you Pat for sharing this with us. We too often wipe what is unpleasant from our memories. We should never forget what happened on this day. Hugs and blessings...Mary

The Quintessential Magpie said...

There are simply no words I can add. This was beautiful.

Thank Dod your husband was safe.



Al said...

That was a terrible day indeed - I can't imagine what you must have been through.

And yes, your website is clean now, according to my scanner. I bet one of those third-party things was causing your issue!

The Gathering Place said...

Thanks for the beautiful remembrance of an awful day. Your pictures and information are good reminders!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Dear Pat - Although so many lost their lives, how lucky for you that Vinny wasn't in his office that day. I know I'll never forget that day, watching from the train coming in from NJ as the second tower was hit, the first one ablaze. I stayed in the city for two weeks before going back home to NJ, reporting on the events from various places in the city, including Ground Zero. I hope we never have to live through something like that again. All those innocent lives gone up in dust. so, so sad

Felicia said...

fabulous post Pat. I love it. So well said. Thank you.

Ida said...

Forever etched into my memories. I still have a hard time viewing anything related to that day without choking up. Your post was beatiful.

Anonymous said...

My cousin of New Jersey worked in the Towers at that time, his wife was sick and he didn't made it to his office. It tooks hours to know they were safe. He lights a candle every day to tank God but he mourns the loss of a lot of friends.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Beautifully said Pat. I'll never forget either. I cannot imagine being able to actually see the towers and the tragedy from your house. We were on vacation and watching the business channel on tv and I just happened to see the reports about the first plane. We couldn't stop watching to see what was next. I hope we are safe from other attacks, but given what is going on the world, I am fearful.

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

You were on my mind for much of the day yesterday, Pat. Such a horrific tragedy, but even more so, I would think, for those residents of NYC and nearby. So tragic. We truly will never forget.

diane b said...

It was a shock for us when we woke to the news that USA had been attacked. It must have been horrendous for you and all the people of NYC.
How lucky was Vinny not to have been at work and your son and daughter safe too.
I am glad that I was able to go to Ground Zero when we visited NYC. The new building was being constructed then and the footprints of the twin Towers were not quite finished.
It must be so sad for the families of those killed. The way they died would have been an unimaginable horror.
Australia has just been put on high alert for terrorist attack. Many young men have gone to the middle east to fight for the terrorists and the threat is that they will return highly trained in terrorism warfare.

DeniseinVA said...

A very moving tribute. I still can't think of that day without emotion. I'm so glad your family were okay. Being as close as you were must have been horrifying.