I’m sure each one of us can remember in vivid detail what we were doing seven years ago today. My friend Gina, better known as No Surrender, wrote about what she was doing that morning here.
I just happened to be watching Good Morning America when the first plane hit. Remember that horrible feeling as we watched the footage of something that had just happened. What a tragic accident. Except “accident” just didn’t feel right.
Everything changed when we watched the live feed of the second plane hitting the building. The gut clenching horror of knowing it was deliberate. In that same instant was the panic at the thought my husband was on a plane at that very moment. Where were these planes from, where were they going, were there other terrorists on other planes in other parts of the country? My mind raced and prayed he would call me NOW. My prayers were answered very shortly after when he called to say he had landed safely in Atlanta.
And still the horror continued. I watched everything that day against my wishes. My desire was to turn off the TV and pretend it hadn’t happened — wasn’t happening. But for thousands of people – in New York, around the country, around the world – that option wasn’t available to them. They were living the horror. How could I leave them to face the tragedy alone? I realize not one of them would know I was in it with them – safe on my comfortable couch in the middle of America, knowing exactly where my family was. But I knew and I had to stay the course for them.
So I sat there, feeling numb, tears streaming down my face. Me and tens, or maybe hundreds of thousands of other people. And I prayed. It’s probably more accurate to say I cried out. “Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.” I don’t know if I was begging, pleading, asking. “Oh God,” was all I could think of to say. But those words weren’t spoken lightly. They were directed to the Almighty. There are just times when it’s the only thing a person can say to Him.
Then all flights were grounded. Todd’s conference was cancelled and he was stuck in Atlanta. It took everything in me to keep from checking Taylor and Katie out of school, loading up on M&Ms and other designated road trip foods, and heading to Georgia to pick him up. You know how it is when tragedy strikes and all you want is your family right there with you. But he talked me out of it and he managed to get home a couple days later on a Greyhound bus. (After that he wished I had driven to get him!)
You can’t turn on the TV today without seeing memorials for the people lost to us in 9/11. We’re still mourning the tragedy and the reckless loss of life — the loss of life as we all knew it. And it still hurts – even for those of us in the periphery. But we remember and may we never forget.