It is almost incomprehensible to think that after today we begin the 365 day countdown towards the ten year anniversary of 9/11. Watching the documentaries on TV September 11th feels like it just happened yesterday. Watching those planes piercing through the twin towers will never get easier to watch. Nine years ago today my husband woke me up and told me to turn on the TV as he rushed off to work. I stood there in disbelief as I watched the TODAY show and their live coverage. By the time we saw what had happened 3 hours had passed United flight 175 had just crashed into the South Tower and there were reports of possible multiple high-jacked aircraft still in the skies. Within an hour Flight 93 was down. I remember wondering if this was the beginning of WW3. I took my son to preschool and went to my office where we sat glued to the satellite TV, we were able to watch a live feed out of New York and the news just kept getting worse by the minute. Around us the usual roar of jet engines had gone silent. Our neighboring airport (SNA) only a few hundred yards away from our building was only allowing landings effectively rendering that place silent. It was eerie. The entire office was overwhelmed. It was obvious no one could think of anything else so we turned around and went home to mourn with our families. For my son who was only 4 it was hard to shield him from the horrific images on television. His strong fascination with planes is evident in the drawing above. The preschool he attended did their best to deal with the tragedy as gingerly as possible we were assured that our kids would only receive a limited amount of information if any in regards to 9/11. How do you explain the magnitude or even the type of events that happened that day to a 4 year old? Instead of talking about it the kids were asked to draw a picture. Here is the back of the drawing above:
Today 9 years later I have a daughter who is the same age. She has seen some of the videos of the burning buildings today but hasn’t asked any questions. I am careful not to let her see any actual footage of the planes. After 9/11 my son was afraid to fly. I literally had to give him Benedryl just to calm him down for a flight we took a month after 9/11/01. The fear has subsided throughout the years and for the first time this summer he boarded a flight for Boston without a stomach ache. 9 years later he is now dealing with a different emotion sadness.
I picked him up from school yesterday and the first thing he said was “in Science today we watched videos of 9/11 and it was really sad”. I asked him what he saw and also what did he remember growing up about 9/11 and he replied that he didn’t know people were jumping out of the buildings. I almost slammed on the brakes. He said that he and his classmates were shown the interactive videos featured on History.com. I pulled over and had a very serious discussion with him at that point. He was visibly upset and confused. You can imagine my anger. I told him that I was truly sorry that he has to see those images and that yes it had happened and as an adult I now wish I had not seen those people photographed in the paper the morning after 9/11. I told him I was angry that I wasn’t asked or informed about what he or the others were being shown in a public classroom. I imagined myself walking up to that teacher on back to school night letting into her and thanking her for burning those images into my child’s brain never to be erased. What was she thinking?
Hours later I received an email from my son with two links to the program he was shown. I watched and I cried. The video was shot by a college student from her dorm room. Her disbelief causes her to explain to her roommate that those things seen falling could easily be chairs not people. That poor girl she will never be the same and not to sound dramatic but that is how I feel about my son, never the same.
I think it is important to talk about 9/11/01, to remember and honor those people lost on that tragic Tuesday. Know that the collective consciousness felt a global shift as we all witnessed a darker place of evil that the world had never known. This attack was not only on men but it targeted women and children something we have never seen before and something we should never forget.
I personally do not know anyone who perished on September 11th but I could have. My mother was on board on Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles just one week earlier on 9/4/01. If you ask her about that particular flight she will tell you that she distinctly remembers looking out the window as they flew south of Boston over New York. She said the sky was so clear she could see downtown Manhattan and the Twin Towers vividly. Sadly a few months after 9/11 she would meet a local man who’s daughter Lisa was killed on flight 175 as she traveled home from Boston University to take a summer job teaching in Rancho Santa Margartia. Lisa graduated BU with 2 degrees both Summa Cum Laude, she was only 22 years old.
Today we raised our new American flag for the first time since bringing it home with us from our trip to the USS Constitution in Boston. Its so bright and beautiful!
Say a prayer today for those who are not here to celebrate and prayers for those who still wish for acts of violence against Americans. As time passes I hope we don’t forget what was lost that day and keep the focus remaining on protecting our freedom and liberty. Never forget.