Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

September 11, 2001

I wasn't there.
I was a long safe distance away.
As a matter of fact, President and Mrs. Bush were just 
down the road  in Sarasota, FL 
meeting with school children. I watched the footage as the 
President was informed of the tragedy.

I will never forget that morning.
 I was nursing my 3 month old son in
the rocking chair when I first saw the news. I bowed my head 
and prayed for those involved - 
I thought it was a horrible accident.

I headed out the door - with my son in tow - for a 
staff meeting at our busy Real Estate office. 
I continued to pray and to wonder how such an accident was possible.
It just didn't make sense.

As I sat down at the conference table I noticed the
small TV in the background - the announcement was being 
made that a second plane had just hit- the second tower. 
A second plane. It began to register. 

The meeting was started, but I pushed away 
from the table & announced that
I had to leave.
"We're at war. We are under attack! Two planes- Two"

 Those around me were reaching the same conclusion-
It was almost like slow motion as the "unthinkable" became reality.
 we exchanged frightened glances and hugs
as we each went our own way to try and make sense of what was happening.

Within the next half hour (or less)- I had a full tank of gas, food,
extra baby supplies - and was standing face to face
 with the cashier at the bank. 
She held my gaze knowingly as she asked how much 
money I wanted to withdraw. 
I looked down at the tiny baby in my arms.
She nodded knowingly.
I wanted it all - but I refrained
 in an effort to remain calm and sensible when nothing was making sense
and nothing felt calm. 

I called my husband & without another word he simply said
"I know, I'm on my way home."

I made phone calls to family and close friends.
I was able to locate my father who'd been traveling. He was safe. 
Thank you Jesus. 
I was able to reach my friend who worked in the trade industry 
in downtown Atlanta. 
She had been evacuated from the building.
-evacuations in downtown Atlanta? 
The information swirled in my head.
She had friends who were missing- unreachable - in New York.
God Bless them, God help them!

By this time the other two attacks had taken place.
Another passenger plane.
Our Pentagon! 

No one knew what would happen next.

I arrived home and sat down in the rocking chair.
I held tight to my young son as I watched  news of the days events unfold.
I cried, and prayed, and sang patriotic "lullabies" to the babe in my arms. 
These became the songs of his infancy. 

Similar scenarios took place all over the country as the
horror played out  across our television screens.  
We cried and prayed for those who'd lost loved ones.
We felt deep pain for people we'd never met- 
our fellow Americans.

The stories poured in-
someone's daughter- someone's son- 
 a pregnant wife- a father missing. 
United in grief. 
United in pride as we watched once again as ordinary 
Americans became hero's. 

No, I will never forget. 
We will NOT forget that day. 

"The day the world stopped turning" 

My heart goes out to the people who lost loved ones and to those who 
were there. I want you to know that all across the country - we cried with you
and prayed for you - No one was untouched- 
and we will not forget! 


Jill said...

No. We will never forget.

Kimberly said...

Thank you for sharing. You weren't alone in your fears for your child that day. Millions of parents around the country were doing the very same thing.

Tonya said...

Thanks, Kelli, for sharing your story. It seems like just yesterday. My husband worked in the World Financial Center next to the towers, left after the second plane hit, saw the towers come down and other things we don't talk too much about. He was laid off after that, moved back up to Massachusetts, and we had our first date December, 2001. So our story has a different spin. A small blessing came out of the tragedy for us.

Hyacynth said...

Wow -- I cannot imagine having just had a tiny baby and then all of that -- the emotions from the terror and the mother's instinct to protect and pp hormones all mixed together. I can only imagine.
That day remains in my memory a blurry dream of terror. Lest we never forget.

Jen said...

and I cried and prayed in just the same way
I knew no one involved
that didnt matter

still remembering and thinking of those affected

Jen in New Zealand

Susan S said...

We lived in a military town at the time and I was a hospital nurse. We were told one of the missing planes was headed to the military base there! I wasn't allowed to leave, of course, but my first instinct was to get my family gathered in one place, even if I couldn't be there. After calling my husband I had to return to assist with a colonoscopy. It was absurd.