Sunday, September 11, 2011

So many thoughts go through my head every year on 9/11. Though this is the 10th anniversary, the pain for the victims, survivors & heroes of 9/11 can't be any worse this year than it has been every year since the horrific event. I really hate to use the word anniversary for 9/11 because to me, anniversaries represent happy celebrations and there is nothing happy about this annual remembrance. I asked a question to my Facebook friends Saturday morning asking them where they were when the attacks occurred. I created the following image to capture their stories and to do something special for this emotional day.

To this day, I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about the World Trade Center attacks. I had just started 3rd period AP Chemistry as a senior at Northgate High School. One of my classmates came into class after me, and announced, "A plane just hit one of the world trade center buildings!" and we all thought it was just an accident...then we heard about the 2nd plane wasn't an accident. My high school had installed TVs in the hallways and in some of the classrooms so we were able to watch things unfold. I remember the noise from the TV when the first tower begin to fell and can't even imagine how it sounded if I had been standing right there. My stomach dropped to my feet, and my eyes filled with tears. I could only imagine the thoughts of all those people that were still in the building when it fell -- firefighters, civilians, and police officers who ran back into the building to rescue trapped employees. Seeing the images of the people who had no choice but to jump out of the windows for being trapped on or above a burning floor....At that time I didn't have a cell phone (I wouldn't get a cell phone until right before freshmen year of college), so I couldn't call anyone!! My sister was away at Gettysburg and I was freaking out because the last hijacked airplane had crashed somewhere near Somerset, PA about 2 hours from Gettysburg. My Mom and Dad were both at their jobs in the city, but eventually the city of Pittsburgh was evacuated. After awhile, Northgate gave us an early dismissal.

Walking home (I lived about a block and half away from our school) I remember wondering if the worst was over, or if there would be more attacks. I fearfully looked in the sky and I remember basically speed-walking home. That night the 3 of us (my Mom, Dad, and I) sat watching news footage all evening. New information kept coming in...confirmed that it was a terrorist attack, images of the dust and debris that was spread by the fallen towers. Images of heroes trying to get through the rubble to anyone that might have survived.  In the days to follow I remember seeing footage of people in the middle east cheering and burning the American Flag. I remember wondering, what could make people hate us so much? Hate us so much that they could justify to themselves the killing of innocent people.  I felt so much hatred toward them, even as a Christian. I couldn't help it. I wanted justice. I wanted America as a super power to take them out..retaliate, I wanted revenge.  These people didn't have to die! They should have been able to go to work and return to their families and loved ones.  Everyone woke up that morning thinking it was going to be just another normal working Tuesday. Everyone went to bed that night knowing their world had changed forever. Some had to go to bed without their loved ones because they never returned home. Some of us went to bed in fear and panic, not knowing what to expect the next day. Others around the country were driving home to their loved ones because all of the flights in the country had been cancelled.

I remember that amongst all the building debris they found this cross made out of the beams of the towers.

I remember how weird it was to see images of Manhattan without the north and south towers looming against the sky. They were just as much a trademark of the Manhattan skyline as the Chrysler Tower and Empire State building.  I loved when they put up these beams of light in place of the towers.

This isn't my picture from my visit to Ground Zero, but I stood in this same walkway and viewed the construction
Since 9-11 I have been to Ground Zero twice.  It's probably the most emotional thing I've ever done in my life.  I went one time with my co-worker Kelly Stockman and then another time with my family. At the time the U.S. Government had made plans to rebuild the towers. I'm not sure when this idea was taken off the table, but instead they built a memorial in the location of the Twin Towers. The memorial dedication will occur today and will be open for the public to visit on September 12th, 2011.  The memorial is entitled: Reflecting Absence.

And I would like to add the irony of finding and killing Osama Bin Laden in the 10th anniversary year of 9/11. It's a shame that he got to live 10 more years after what he did, when others' lives were taken...

Luv on a very somber day...

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  1. lovely post Shasie it is so so sad even 10 years on I would love to be in NYC just to commemorate this day

  2. My thought today are for the kids that have lost one or both parents in this tragedy. I read an article today that was focusing on them. They moved me to tears.

  3. :( So unfortunate. Thanks for always stopping by my blog girl.

  4. Well-written, Shasie.
    Thoughts are with the families. Can't believe it's been 10 years.

  5. It's mindblowing that it has already been this long ago... I remember where I was, what I was doing & even what I wore... one of my brother's friends passed away & a couple of my coworker's family members were injured. What a historic day for all to remember.

  6. Yes, watching these children speak about their parents during this tribute is heart-wrenching. I couldn't imagine.

  7. Thanks Joey,

    I can't believe it either...the world has changed so much because of this incident.


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