9/11 – A Painful Memory

First of all, I don’t want to write this post. Honestly, I have avoided writing this for 3 days now but my mind simply won’t let this go and therefore I feel compelled to get this down on paper as it were so I can move on.

Lisa and I lived in Palm Harbor, FL at the time and I was traveling quite a bit during that time for work. I was originally scheduled to be in New York that week but for reasons that I can’t remember at the moment, the trip had been rescheduled for the end of September. A colleague of mine was actually in the D.C area that morning driving on the beltway and saw the plane that moments later, plunged into the Pentagon.

So many people put in harm’s way. As the images flashed across the screen that day it was simply overwhelming to take it all in. A large part of that morning seemed like some terrible nightmare that you just couldn’t wake up from but unfortunately it was America’s worst fears being played out in real time. The people, innocent people met their end that day. Why? Why? I have still not reconciled with an answer that explains it to my mind or much less to my heart.

People, seeing no other options, felt so desperate that they leaped to their deaths in hopes of escaping the chaos that surrounded them. That’s what I remember most about that day – the total desperation of people as they were literally just trying to save themselves from certain death. And as those first couple of hours passed, it was nothing but an avalanche of mounting, horrific events that for a while seemed would never end….and in some ways, I don’t think it has.

Life, so fragile, so precious, was taken so suddenly that fateful day in September that it shocked us all. And for the first time in a long time, we looked across this nation, across the state, across the street, across the aisle and we saw each other as people, whose lives held great value. We actually cared for one another’s well-being, we prayed for each other and sought to provide whatever we could to simply help.

Eleven years later I wonder if our mindset as people is any better than it was on September 10, 2001.

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