Love and peace to all who suffered on 09/11/01.
I remember this day vividly. My mother called me at work to tell me the World Trade Center was on fire. I turned on my radio and was listening to reports from the scene. When we realized what had happened, we all went to the President's office and watched on his TV. We saw the 2nd Tower get hit. I have never felt what I felt at that moment.
Our boss told us all to go home and be with our families.
I called my husband at school in Hoboken and couldn't get through to him. That's when I realized how terribly close he was to Manhattan - a mere river's width and a few blocks from where the world was literally crashing down around us.
I drove home, eastbound on Route 3, where I could see the smoke in the skies where the Towers had stood. Towers that had been there for years. Towers I saw almost every day. Towers I saw but never really paid attention to for years.
They were no longer there.
Now what I saw on that drive home was loss. Horrible, crippling, devastating loss. And this was before we really knew or understood what had happened.
I could only think about all those people. Those people who got up, kissed their wives or husbands goodbye, patted the dog on the head, took the garbage out, then drove or bussed or flew to work. All those people.
And the families. My God, the families.
I'd lost my father, and my aunt, and my grandparents. I knew was loss was. I knew how hard it was to come to terms with knowing that you'd never see that person again, that they were gone forever. And yes, time had come and gone and I'd reached that point in my grieving where I also understood that they were there, in my heart, always.
But they were still gone. Forever.
The bigger "but" is that they died. They weren't murdered. They weren't taken from me, from my family, by cruel, evil, heartless men who wanted to hurt us. They died when they were supposed to die. All those people in the Towers, on Flight 93, at the Pentagon and on that plane, too - they were not supposed to die.
Sure, my faith helps me to understand we all have to go sometime, and it helps me through that time. BUT even though fate decreed that all those 2977 people had to die that day, the fact that they were TAKEN from us is hard to swallow. They were taken from their loved ones deliberately, with malice and forethought, with the intention of hurting us and maiming us - us the U.S.
They are heroes. Each and every one of them. And I, for one, along with every other American, every other person in the world today who has a heart, miss them today and grieve along with their families and friends.
I was lucky, you might say, that I live 9 miles from the city and knew no one who died in this tragic event. Yes, a few acquaitances came close, a couple cousins even closer (one was in the city late for a meeting at the Towers, another on the drive into Manhattan when he got stuck in the traffic after it happened). But I didn't lose anyone close to me.
I lost all 2977.