Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11/01

I was 16 and just starting my junior year of high school. I was driving to seminary (an early morning religion class) and listening to the radio. I remember the DJ coming on the line and saying that a single engine plane had hit the World Trade Center. I can remember thinking "how do you miss them!?" and dismissed it. After seminary I walked over to school and was hanging out ad chatting with my friends. No one knew what was happening 2,500 miles away. We were completely unaware. I walked into my first class that morning, culinary, and the TV was one, which was odd since she never let us watch TV. On the screen was the World Trade Center and it was on fire.


I stood there watching as the 2nd plane hit. I remember it felt like the breath was literally knocked out of me. I was standing in a classroom 2,500 miles away and I felt the rumble. I felt my knees buckle and I fought hard to keep back tears.


As we watched, in horror, the tower collapsed. It fell. This huge magnificent building crumbled to the ground taking hundreds, thousands of innocent people with them. I remember listening to the newscasters in shock letting us all know what it was that we were seeing. I can remember the shock and sadness in their voices as they announced the towers were falling.


After that class I ran down to the nearest pay phone and called my mom. My aunt and uncle had moved to NYC earlier that summer and I wasn't exactly sure where my uncle worked, I just knew it was in the city. My mom let me know that uncle Ken was in London at the time of the attacks. He wasn't near the towers. My aunts brother and mother, who lives near the towers, were also safe. I felt relief but still a pain in my chest. How could this have happened?

Later that day we learned of the attacks on the Pentagon and the attempt on the White House. We learned of those brave passengers on United 93 who fought back, fought for their lives. When people think of 9/11 their thoughts immediately go to NYC, I admit mine do as well, but we often forget about the Pentagon and the White House. My heart and my prayers go to all those families on that horrible day.

Since that day there have been many "theories" about that day but these are the facts:

At least 2,985 people died in the September 11, 2001, attacks, including:
  • 19 terrorists
  • 2,966 victims [2,998 as of Spring 2009]
There were 266 people on the four planes:
  • American Airlines Flight 11 (crashed into the WTC): 92 (including five terrorists)
  • United Airlines Flight 175 (crashed into the WTC): 65 (including five terrorists)
  • American Airlines Flight 77 (crashed into the Pentagon): 64 (including five terrorists)
  • United Flight 93 (downed in Shanksville, PA): 45 (including four terrorists)

There were 2,595 people in the World Trade Center and near it, including:
  • 343 NYFD firefighters and paramedics
  • 23 NYPD police officers
  • 37 Port Authority police officers
  • 1,402 people in Tower 1
  • 614 people in Tower 2
  • 658 people at one company, Cantor Fitzgerald
  • 1,762 New York residents
  • 674 New Jersey residents
  • 1 NYFD firefighter killed by a man jumping off the top floors of the Twin Towers

There were 125 civilians and military personnel at the Pentagon.
1,609 people lost a spouse or partner on 9/11. More than 3,051 children lost parents.
While it was mostly Americans who were killed in this horrific attack, there were also 327 foreign nationals.

 (taken from WikiAnswers)


The fact is, 19 people woke up that morning and changed the way America would be. The way Americans would think of themselves. The way our country was. America hasn't been the same since that fateful September morning. 

We have gone to war for this and I personally feel that some people have forgotten what we're fighting for. Sailor Man wrote in his e-mail this morning a comment his Captain made this morning: "civilians are like sheep and the armed forces are sheepdogs. The relationship isn’t always the friendliest unless there is a wolf out to attack the sheep." 

I am thankful every single day for the men and woman who are fighting to protect my country, my freedom, my life. To those who have died, in the attacks and in the war since, Thank you and may you rest in peace. 

Always remember, Never forget 9/11/01  


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