I think everyone remembers just where they were when they heard the news. When they saw the broadcast. That day on 9/11.
That’s all one has to hear for visions to erupt in your head of the news. Drawing you instantly back to that day.
It was similar when President Kennedy was assassinated; or when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.
For a brief time… the world stopped spinning.
Nothing mattered but pulling together and getting through it.
Where was I?
I was at my desk, working on my family’s genealogy [no, really, I was!]. I had the television playing in the living room, just off the dining room where I was seated. That’s when I heard that the regular program was being interrupted for an important news brief.
I stopped what I was doing, and I listened.
As soon as I heard that a plane had flown into the first tower, I walked over to the doorway so that I could see the television screen.
I was still standing there, when live, I saw the second plane fly into the other tower.
My knees buckled. My first thought was that we were under attack.
I got up and raced to the phone. I called my husband at work….”Is the tv on there?”
“We’re watching it now,” he said.
I told him to call me when he could.
I sat down on the floor in front of the television and called my Dad. “Get the tv on right now!”
“Daddy, I think we’ve been attacked. Two planes have flown into the twin towers in New York!”
“Oh, my God!” he cried. I could hear my Mama in the background, “What is it? What is it?”
“I’ve got it on,” he said. “Jesus help us!”
I tried to call my daughter in Portsmouth. No answer.
When we heard the news of the Pentagon being struck, and the plane down in Pennsylvania, I was petrified.
Our pastor made the rounds with everyone from our church by telephone to see if anyone needed him. Our neighbors came round to ask if we knew, and if we had heard of anyone we knew being there.
One of my associates called and told me her sister-in-law’s husband was at work in the tower. “Pray, Cyndi! Pray!”
Later we would find out… he didn’t make it.
Nor did a member from our local church. He made a weekly trip to NYC for business. If he had been a day earlier, or scheduled a day later, he wouldn’t have been in the first tower.
I remember watching the towers fall; the utter disbelief in the newsman’s voice; the horror, sickening horror, I felt inside.
It took quite a while for some kind of peace to settle back inside of me; to feel that my adult children were okay and safe on their own. After all… those individuals who lost their lives that day probably started that day off feeling safe, secure.
I remember our pastor quoting scripture, “And he said unto them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.’” [Acts 1:7, KJV] It is good that we do not know what will happen to us today, or tomorrow. But leave it in His hands.
Could this same kind of tragedy happen again?
Do I fear it?
I learned one thing from 9/11 more than anything else. Be not afraid. Live life as though today was our very last day on earth. Tell the people you love that you love them. Tell them every single day! Do the things you want most to do now.
We never know if today will be our last upon this earth.
And I don’t want to have a single regret when that time comes.