Flipping around television channels tonight I came across a documentary entitled "Giuliaini's 9/11"; Rudy Giuliani's memories of the attacks. In the nearly ten years since it happened, I have watched nearly every documentary, special and news report about the attacks and will never be able to grasp the enormity of it.
I remember that morning I was driving to Davenport, Iowa on business. Cruising down I-80 listening to John Denver singing about "Rhymes and Reasons", I was interrupted by my mom calling me on the phone. Hysterical, she told me to turn the car around and get home, the US was under terrorist attack.
Shortly after that, my husband called. He was home watching the horror unfold. He screamed as the first tower came down. I could not believe what I was hearing. For the next few days I watched the news as what had happened was starting to sink in. The burst of patriotism I felt during those first days was so strong I walked around humming "God Bless America", I put up a new mailbox and painted "United We Stand" on one side and "Gold Bless America" on the other. Ten years later, dirty and worn it is still out there.
Every time I watch anything related to the events that took place that morning, I see or learn something new. Having traveled to New York many times during these past ten years, I have spoken with so many people about that day. I wish I had recorded the stories of all the taxi drivers I grilled about it as they were so open and obviously deeply changed by it.
I was there four months after it first happened and went to the site. It was so difficult to absorb it; so mind numbing. At that point there was still a huge mess but it was just a large gaping hole in the ground. I was there again this past summer during the continuing construction to rebuild. It's moving to see the progress to bring the site back to life as it had resulted in so many deaths.
I have visited the Ground Zero Museum and Workshop which is a visual history of photos and artifacts found at the site. It was and is an astounding experience. I make it my business to never forget what happened there. I imagine the people of New York always have it in the backs of their minds as well.
I am typically a person that tried to find a silver lining in every cloud and perhaps the fact that we as a country bonded together was just that. I am also a sarcastic person with a way of finding humor in everything. This is something that just flattens me in all ways.
So, I feel the need to just say that we should all remember that day. We are not immune to the crazy acts of religious fanatics; we were delivered a feeling of exceptional vulnerability that day. One we should always remember. And to the victims and their families, my heart will be forever broken. I hope that they find peace someday.
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