We Will Never Forget~Or Will We?

by Jessica on September 11, 2011


The weather has finally turned cool enough in Texas that we can emerge from our air conditioned hibernation and spend some time outdoors.  Along with my three best girlfriends and our kids, we were enjoying the cooler weather with an outdoor playdate.  Twelve kids from seven months to ten years old were blissfully digging and swinging and tossing a ball and generally cavorting with the carelessness of childhood.   With an equally carefree air, the moms sat in the shade and enjoyed a few moments of chatting and catching up. It wasn't long before the conversation stumbled upon the upcoming tenth anniversary of September 11th.

With the exception of my oldest son, who was only nine months old on September 11, none of these children had even been born on that day in 2001.  They all entered into a world that was forever marked by the tragedy of that day.  As we talked about what we would share and how we would share with our children as we remembered the anniversary, we automatically shifted into a session of recounting our own memories of the day.  One by one, we solemnly shared where we had been when we heard the news.  Then, as if by rote, we recounted what we had felt, and what we tried to do to process in the days that followed.  Like our grandparents remembered the attack on Pearl Harbor, and our parents remember the assassination of JFK, this is the memory that will forever scar my generation.   

We will never forget has become the tagline of September 11th, but I have heard many say that it is absurd to even suggest that we might forget.  It would be impossible to forget such a thing, they say.  While I would hope that I wouldn't forget, I have to ashamedly admit that time fades from my memory all sorts of things.  Important things.  I have no memory of my third son's first word.  I close my eyes and try to picture where we were when my baby took his first steps, and I come up with nothing.   I know that I had overwhelming emotion when I discovered that I was pregnant for the first time, but the busyness of life has erased the tangibility of that moment.  Were it not for the baby books and journals and scribbled notes I have kept through the years, these fragments would be gone forever.

For that reason, I want to record my memories of September 11th from my perspective.  Of course, my experience was typical, mundane.  No eye witness accounts from my home in Texas far from the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and the rural Pennsylvania field.   I knew no one personally who lost their life, or the life of a love one.  But my memories are woven into the fabric that tells the story of that day, and for myself and my children and their children, I want to remember.

I was a new mom of a nine month old baby boy, who for that morning was sleeping late, and so I was joining him happily.  My husband woke and went into his office next to our bedroom and made a phone call to the repair garage to check on a part for our car.  Through a haze of sleep and awake, I heard them discussing that a plane had hit a tower.  In my sleepiness, I imagined a small plane and drifted back to sleep.    Moments later, my husband came to wake me with the words, "Get up, something terrible is happening."

We rushed downstairs and flipped on the television, sitting in stunned silence, as we watched the first tower and then the second tower erupt in a fiery explosion.  For most of the morning, we hardly moved, hardly spoke.  I think we must have cared for the baby, but I have no memory of our activity that morning.  It was as if we were moving and hearing in slow motion.  The whole experience seemed to be wrapped in a shroud.   I have one crystal clear memory from that day.  At one point, like a vacuum exploding, it occurred to me that my husband had been in NYC and flown home on a plane just three days before.  His suitcase was still packed by the door.  With that realization, I sobbed uncontrollable, wracking tears.  It was the only time that I ever cried during that day or the days that followed. 

At some point we left the house to get something to eat and found that the world outside our home was as stunned as we were inside.  Flags were flying at half staff and everyone was driving with their lights on.  We drove to find a place where we could give blood, but the lines were so long that they asked that we come back another day.  We drove back home in silence with a feeling of helplessness.

As evening came, we packed up the stroller and walked to the church at the end of our street to join with others who were gathering for comfort and prayer.   The room was filled with strangers, but we all joined hands and prayed.  A neighbor  asked to hold the baby when he became fussy and she seemed simultaneously comforted and troubled at the presence of such a young child in the midst of such a sad moment. 

In bed that night, my husband and I began to mentally wrestle with the truth of the day.  The still darkness was punctuated by our thoughts as our brains became too overwhelmed to keep silent.   Just before sleeping, one of us uttered perhaps the truest and scariest utterance of the day: the world will never be the same.

What do you remember about Sepember 11th? Take a moment to record your thoughts in a journal, video log or blog so that we will never forget.


Lisa September 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I, too, recorded my memories on my blog today.  What raw emotion this day brings to all of us.  Our oldest was only 3 and we had a 2 year old.  I was 6 months pregnant with our 3rd.  When I look at our now 13 year old, it just seems like yesterday that I brought him to his first "morning" at a local church's preschool at 9:30 that day.  But, when I look at our now 10 year old, I realize that it has been a lifetime ago, his entire lifetime.  Our 4th wasn't even born until over 2 years later.
I wonder how much "life" has returned to the way it was before 9/11 and I wonder how many people have truly remembered, as I see less and less flags flown, the churches no longer filled to capacity and the love of all things material and immoral returning to American culture.  It saddens me.
Thank you for sharing your memories and reflections!  May God bless America, all of our servicemen and women and all of us who try, as difficult as it may be, to live His Will everyday.

Karen Greenberg September 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Like you, my oldest child was 9-months old at the time of the attacks.  I really can't type the story again today, so here is a link to my blog post:  http://karenshealthylifestyle.blogspot.com/2011/09/ten-years-later.html

walkingontravels September 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your memories. I am always a person that believes if you talk about it and write about it you can begin to heal. For some reason I can not tackle this event though. I was away at college, watching and listening with the rest of my office that I worked at to pay for school. I had friends and family in NYC that day. Thankfully no one was lost, but that was not the case for so many families and other friends. The reprecussions of the attack have been wide spread. I've seen friends go to war. I've seen their wives deal with the long separation. I've met reporters who still seem to be in shock from what they witnessed and reported. Thanks for your encouragment though. I may just get something posted tonight. It's time to think about this and have something to share with my son, who was in no way a glimmer at the time since I had only been dating his dad (and my husband) for less than a year at that point. You are right though. Our world has never been the same since. A lot of healing is still needed. But a lot of love has been spread in the process. And I praise God that He kept your husband safe and got him home. 

Katya kate September 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I too couldn't forget that tragic day! Although I live far across the globe, we were equally stunned infront of our TV screens. The fact that I was preganant with my first daughter that time, imagine the stress and surge of emotions I felt. Can't help to cry for the lives lost that day and for the families who lost their loved ones. My thoughts are with them.
Visiting from the hop,

Katya kate September 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm

I'm a new follower by the way :) Drop by my blog anytime thanks

twinswithtots (@twinswithtots) September 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

What a well worded post.
Loved reading it although it's content is so sda.
I was teaching elementary school children that morning, unaware that anything happened until lunch time.  My heart was and still is broken for those lost.
Found you thru Monday Mom.  Hope you will check us out too at http://twinswithtots.blogspot.com/
Cathy and BEcca

melissa September 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Beautiful post.  So glad I clicked over from the hop! 

Working Mommy September 13, 2011 at 1:08 am

Thank you for sharing your story!


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