Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget

 The symbols on the flag are meant to encompass all those lost that day — forty yellow stars for those who died on United Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the five-sided figure to represent the Pentagon, and at the center of the flag are the Twin Towers.


Today, on the twelfth anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country, we remember all the victims of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93, as well as all the brave men and women who rushed in without thinking to try to save as many as possible, even sacrificing their own lives. We honor those who serve in our military, those who couldn't wait to sign up to make a difference, and all their families left behind in the states to wait and wonder. 

I'll always remember where I was the day the towers fell. I was 6 months pregnant with my first child, driving in to work as a customer service rep for MCI (remember them?). It was announced that a plane had crashed, but obviously nobody knew what was going on or the seriousness. I think the DJ's were even joking a little bit...again, no one knew this was a big deal. I get to work around 7:30 and get on the phones. There were only a few calls...one girl had a mini tv...but wasn't getting any information. An hour or so into my shift, we were literally getting zero calls. That's never happened before or after! We might have a slow day...maybe 5, 10 minutes between calls...at most 15...but we didn't get any! That's how we knew something big was going on. We were really cut off from most information...finally around 10:00 or 11:00 they shut down the call center. 

I headed outside, honestly, a little happy to be going home early, still not understanding the significance. David was actually outside waiting for me. He'd been watching the news, and he knew we'd been attacked. He was coming to get me, not knowing my work had shut down...he just knew we should be together. We headed over my mother-in-law's house and basically watched the news all day. I remember Dad was working in Utah at the time...he had a hard time getting home what with all the air traffic shut down. It took him a few days, if I remember right. 

I remember watching the footage, horror-struck and crying...the worst was watching people jump on live TV...I couldn't bear to watch it. One image that really stands out was seeing people run out of the smoke just completely covered in light gray dust. It was truly a terrible day...yet seeing the courage of all the first responders was so moving. I remember thinking how courageous they were. 

Today, looking back, I can only remember, weep, and pray for all the families affected by this atrocity. I hope we always remember not just the sadness, but the way we felt seeing the strength and bravery of all who helped that day.