Nineteen years ago, I was living in my first condominium. A cute loft-style 1-bedroom with a sliding door off the living room, which led to a fenced in yard. I was working from home that day, and while making breakfast, turned on The Today Show.
Not paying much attention, I grabbed my laptop and set it on the kitchen table, prepared for a beautiful day working from home. And then I heard the breaking news, announced by Matt Lauer. There was confusion. There was a commercial break. Next, there on the screen – live footage of New York; the World Trade Center…billowing smoke, questions being asked, trying to understand what happened.
And then chaos. A second plane hit – and the realization this was no accident. “Another impact!” World Trade Center II hit.
“Deliberate…terrorism…shocking,” were the words, and “Oh my God! Oh my God!” repeated over and over. Hysteria. Crying.
“It looks as if something may have fallen off the building…” said a reporter, but it was the building. The second tower collapsed. Gone. In a matter of seconds.
I remember crying. I remember calling my boyfriend, Shawn to tell him what was happening. Little did we know, there would be more devastation. More terrorism. More deaths.
Lives were lost. Hearts were broken. Faith was shattered.
But something else happened. We united. Across races, color, religion – we united. Flags were flying from every home, every car, every building. Shawn and I jumped in his truck with flags in our hands, and drove around our town. We honked our horn at those like us, driving around with flags, not really knowing what else to do but show our American pride; our American resolve.
We, as a people were nicer to one another. We realized the phrase, “life is short” is more than mere words. United, we stood.
And as we reflect back on that devastating day, I pray that we will remember. I pray that we will once again, feel that sense of United We Stand.
The world has changed. In a matter of months, the world is unrecognizable to me now. But perhaps we will all stop for a moment, and remember those towers, the heroes who ran into the danger, who ran through the smoke, through the fire, to save even one life.
We will remember the flags, displayed on every home, on every street corner, in every neighborhood. We were ONE people. We were AMERICANS.
May God bless all of those who lost their lives and the loved ones who live with that loss every day. And God bless those who serve and have served in our Military, Fire & Rescue, Police and every day heroes. We honor you. We admire & respect you.
We will never forget.