Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11 Thursday Thirteen

1. On this day in 2001, I, along with most Americans, watched a plane crash into the second tower. Shortly thereafter, I watched the towers collapse in a swirl of dust, debris and screams.

2. My main thought was of the firemen who I knew were climbing the steps and making valiant efforts to rescue the folks trapped inside. The towers' collapse killed 343 firefighters.

3. In all, 2,974 people died in the attacks that occurred in New York City and at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. That number also includes the passengers of United 93, which did not hit its target but instead crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

4. Our office closed at lunch time, as did many others. No one could work anyway.

5. I came home and watched footage of the event over and over again. My husband was not at the firehouse but he was working at his second job installing septic tanks and I couldn't reach him to tell him what had happened.

6. After a while I came into my office and I played a puzzle game while the images settled in my mind and I tried to come to grips with what had happened.

7. A feeling of helplessness settled over me and I think it settled over much of the nation. For many it hasn't yet gone away. It left many feeling emasculated and I don't believe that has yet been assuaged.

8. Most of the world stood by the USA while she grieved the loss of her citizens.

9. Air travel was suspended and the following afternoon I stood with a friend and looked up. Neither of us had ever seen the sky so pure and unmarred by jet trails.

10. The government used the attacks as a reason to implement the USA PATRIOT ACT, which abolished many civil liberties, including the right to check out what you wanted from a library without being turned into the police if somebody thought it was suspect.

11. The government also began spying on emails and telephone conversations and doing other Big Brother things.

12. The US led a coalition into Afghanistan. That war continues though not well reported.

13. The attacks are a sober reminder for me of how badly the US government sometimes behaves in world relations, how poorly some citizens of this world think of this country, and how hard our people work and pray and play.

September 11 also reminds me that all in the world are a part of the circle of life. Everyone, regardless of race, color or creed, deserves a chance to live. That includes bankers in the World Trade Center and Iraqis huddled in their homes during bombings in Baghdad. I pray for peace every day and for wisdom in the leaders who hold the decisions for such things in the palms of their hands.

My hope is that one day issues will be resolved without bloodshed and tears, and that the world will lose its hatred for one another and embrace love.

I wish that love, not vengence and revenge, had been the lesson learned from September 11, 2001.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; you can learn more about it here. My other Thursday Thirteens are here.


  1. Everyone has a story about that day and I love hearing each of them. My cousin works for an investment firm that used to be in the south tower on the 85th floor. Scott was at his desk on 9/11 and saw the first plane hit. He grabbed his briefcase and two other employees and dragged them in the elevator. Those express elevators can take up to 15 minutes but on that day, it opened on his floor! He got out, ran across the street and turned around just as the first tower fell. To this day, he won't go into tall buildings. He still lives in NYC and he and his wife just recently had their first child.

  2. I just got off the phone wishing my father a happy birthday before he went to work. We lived so close we could smell the smoke across the bay. My real estate agent's husband, Lou Minervino, died in the towers.

  3. My family and I had just finished burying my brother a month after the first brother died. I was home when my niece called to tell me about it. At first I couldn't absorb it at all. Then I started watching TV and thinking that the whole world would be joining me in grief. Two towers came down, one right after the other, just like my brothers.


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