GOOD MORNING WORLD
Eleven years later there are still tears in my eyes as I hear the names read aloud over the television. The children of those lost are grown. Wives and husbands are still grieving a loss. Parents still missing their children. Such loss.
Why do we continue this demonstration of grieving each year? Of course we wish to honor those who gave their lives and to never forget. Each year I make a point to watch as my way to pray for the souls of those who died. It is hard to watch the children speak their parent’s names in tears. The same with husbands, wives, nieces or nephews or parents who read their relatives name aloud.
Where were you? I was at my kitchen sink in O’Fallon, MO making coffee and listening to the TV that was perched on the refrigerator.
What was your first response? I picked up the phone and called my husband who was in Louisiana. I said, “I am not sure what is going on in the world and I love you.” I went on to tell him what had happened. We hung up and I called our children with the same message. The second plane hit. Alone in my kitchen I did not know what was happening in our world. I could only sit and watch the horror.
Then the day went on. My group of friends decided we would indeed gather for lunch as planned. Without saying it it was understood that we seemed to need each other. Most of our husbands traveled and most were away. Instead of sitting at the beautifully set table we all gathered around the TV and had our lunch and watched and prayed together. We were together when we found out that all the husbands had plans and ways to return home. Planes were grounded and it was difficult to find travel. My husband was called by his travel agent and told to not return his rental car and to drive it back to Missouri. The world stopped.
This is one of those moments that are in our souls that we will know where we were at this specific time. It is the same with the Kennedy assassination. We all know where we were that day I am sure. I imagine our parents had similar reactions to Pearl Harbor Day. Our job and our mission must be to never forget these days and to honor our heroes.
A few years ago we heard from a friend, who was working in D.C. that day 9-11-2001, her story about the plane that hit the Pentagon. She watched from across the street knowing many who were in the building.
We had the opportunity this past year to visit Shanksville, PA and the Flight 93 National Memorial. It was powerful. I believe I began crying at the very minute our tires touched the beginning of the long drive into the memorial. I couldn’t understand why the emotion. The only thought is that I knew more about the people involved in this memorial. I knew of the heroism of the people on this plane who banded together to stop the terrorists with a “Let’s Roll”.
It is a long drive into this memorial and then a long walk to the actual site. Perhaps this was planned for the opportunity it gives one to pray each step. It is a simple powerful memorial. It is funded through a public-private partnership so we all have an opportunity to be a part by sharing of our on gifts as donations. I am including information at the end.
I think the thing about Shanksville is that these people worked together and were alone in that field for some time. In New York and in DC first responders were running INTO the buildings to help. In Shanksville people were trying to figure out where this plane had landed. These heroes landed and waited quietly for attention. That quiet is honored in the memorial. A nondescript field holds heroes forever. It is a very simple moving place.
The stories of this day will be remembered over and over. Let the prayers for these people, our nation and our leaders be remembered the same and never cease.
…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…
Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign
The National Memorial is being built through a public-private partnership with approximately half the funds coming from the private sector. The National Park Foundation, the congressionally-charted partner of the National Park Service, is leading a national campaign to raise the necessary private funds. To donate or learn more, please visit www.honorflight93.org or call 202.354.6488.