Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Genealogy Journey - Week #37

It's Week 37 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey
This is a difficult memory but we all share it - where were you and what were you doing on 9/11? Such a terrible and tragic day but one our descendants will want to know more about. And sometimes it's helpful to write our memories of traumatic times in order to heal.

This was a difficult memory to dredge up. Although I didn't have anyone close to me directly connected with 9/11, it was the first tragedy of attack on American soil, or American territory, in my lifetime. And I was so deeply affected, emotionally, by the event.

One September 11, 2001, I was working from home as a Manager for a company called Melaleuca.  I had just come to the end of a conference call with my twenty-something associates when one of them broke in and simply said, "Oh, my God! Everybody turn on your television! We've been attacked!"

I reached to the side of my desk and grabbed the television remote control. I think it was already tuned to an NBC station. I was watching the live telecast of the first tower with smoke and flames when they broke in and said the second tower was hit.

I literally fell from my chair to the floor and hit my knees. I told everyone the call was finished and we'd re-schedule the next call later. We were all so stunned, I can't even remember saying good-bye to any of the associates.

I called my husband at work. "Honey, can you get to a television?" He answered, "We're all gathered around one right now."

Work ground to a halt in my husband's manufacturing shop.

All eye's were glued to the television for the next several hours. I was completely and totally stunned. But nothing could have prepared any of us for what happened when the towers imploded! I was watching the live feed of the scene, and I couldn't stop the tears! The sheer loss of humanity!

When they broke in to say the Pentagon had been struck, I became physically ill. I have a daughter who lives very near the US Navy bases in Norfolk, VA, and I called and asked her to come home. I wanted her away from the area in case the Navy base was struck. But she refused. She said it wasn't being threatened. Excuse me? Neither was the Pentagon!!! [Hey, I'm the Mommy... I'm entitled to a panick now and then!]

Later, as we huddled around the television, my husband, youngest daughter and I, we heard the report of the downed airliner, and listened as the brave heroics of the passengers was brought to light.

It seemed the tears would never stop that first week following the event. And it seemed everywhere we went, someone knew of someone who was directly affected by what happened. Whether a victim, or a survivor, or a rescuer.

We watched our televisions as ordinary people became heroes of the highest honor.

And for once, we were a nation. No longer divided by petty differences, but united in our suffering, and in our desire to protect and prevent anything like this from ever happening again. We listened as recruiters announced the highest amount of new recruits in decades, into our armed forces! And we gathered together in our churches. We stood shoulder to shoulder, and hand in hand, and prayed for God to protect and preserve this country.

God forbid this nation ever be attacked again... but we need an awakening of that magnitude again! God help us! Protect and preserve this Nation, once more.

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