Remembering September 11

September 11, 2001 – We all remember where we were and exactly what we were doing.  I had just gone downstairs to start quilting, flipped on the TV to watch Simply Quilts.  It was a show I’d seen already so I flipped over to one of the news channels just moments after the first plane had hit but before the second plane had hit.  I called Vince to tell him and he immediately said it was terrorists.  I accused him of always being so negative as I was sure it was some kind of radar problem or pilot error.  The second plane hit and I called Vince back . . he had been so right.

The events of September 11, 2001 changed our whole world.  What amazes me is that for all of us, we will never ever forget the specifics, every ugly detail of it all.  Our grandkids will hear about September 11, 2001; they will read about it in history books; we will tell them of our personal memories of the day but for them . . it will be history they are learning.  Just like Pearl Harbor, previous wars, depressions, etc. were for our grandparents and great grandparents – they lived through it but for us, it was history.  We read about it in books, heard about it and our grandparents talked about it.

It has so much more meaning when we actually experienced it than do the events that we only heard about or read about.  September 11, 2001 will not be a point in the lives of future generations . . it will be history for them.  Know what I’m trying to say?  After 9/11, I look differently on the events of which I heard my grandparents speak.  I wish I’d listened more closely and had a better memory — of how they reacted when they heard the news of Pearl Harbor, of how they felt, of how it changed their lives that very instant.

I had eaten lunch once at Windows on the World Restaurant on top of the North Tower of the WTC and wish I’d paid more attention to the surroundings, wish I’d taken pictures, wish I’d burned into my memory something about the building but . . I didn’t.

I knew no one lost in the events of the day but I think of those who left behind new babies . . they’re now 7 years old and never had personal knowledge of their missing parent; although I hope the surviving parent has kept that parent alive in their memory.  I think of those who left behind 1st graders . . those kids are now in middle school.  Parents who left behind college freshmen . . they’re probably now successful adults, maybe with families of their own.  I just wish it hadn’t happened . . wish we could go back and re-do the day and somehow stop it all from happening but . . life doesn’t work that way, does it?  We can only go forward and . . on we go!

To everyone personally affected, I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope America never ever forgets!


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    Thanks Judy for the necessary reminder. I work in Washington DC, just three blocks from the White house, and that day is permanently burned into my memory too. You are so right, that we should never forget.

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    Thank you so much for posting about 9/11. I remember the day vividly. I was at college at the time and while seeing it on TV while getting ready for class, it was almost like I couldn’t believe that it was happening. Our entire campus was shut down and armed guards with automatic machine guns were stationed all over campus. While some students saw it purely as a time that they didn’t have to go to class and could play all afternoon, most students were very somber and knew that it would change our lives forever.

    I have many friends who were in the ROTC program at school and have spent their years since graduating overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. We keep them in our minds all the time and pray that they come home safely.

    My husband also had a high school classmate who was on one of the planes that crashed into the towers. We can’t even imagine how her parents are able to cope with the loss.

    I don’t think anyone will readily be able to forget those terrifying hours.

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    I have some old pictures of the World Trade Towers that I should find. When I was in NYC, I loved going to the Commodities Exchange and watching the action on the floor from the observation room above.

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    Sandy says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories, Judy. Be assured that, as a neighbour and friend to the US, Canada remembers also.

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    what a day wasn’t it. My kids and I were at the dentist that morning and we were watching it in the dentist office and I remember the dentist coming out and we were all in the waiting room watching it not believing what we were seeing. It is kinda weird because on the flip side I still have that memory with my husband being alive for that. Now he is gone and I miss him(not to get confused he didn’t die in 9/11) he died 2 years later but I still miss him and have memories of him

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    norma says

    Judy: Rest assured that the World will make sure America never forgets 9:11! In Canada we still remember as we were and continue to feel the impact of the aftermath of 9:11 as you do. My heart also goes out to those who were personally impacted by this tragedy because they lost a loved one that terrible day.

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    pdudgeon says

    yes, we do remember. what we saw and how we felt, the unbelievable pictures, how people who lived nearby dove in to try and help find people, the quilts we made for families who lost loved ones, unselfish quilters picking up the quilts and driving across country to get them delivered, new heroes, the beautiful flag, the words of our president, the sound of taps, the tears, the hope, and the remembering.

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    Judy, Great post! Yes, we should never forget and I don’t think we ever will. I have never been to NYC or any of the other places that were hit. I did work for a company at the time that lost someone in the plane that went into the Pentagon. I never personally met her but the story was sad. She wasn’t supposed to be on that plane, but she finished her meetings in DC early and wanted to get home to her new baby. I think about her and her family every year on this date. I say a prayer for them and ask the Lord to help them through this day of sorrow.

    I can still remember the day that I went to Las Vegas shortly after the event. Shirts from fire departments lined the fence outside of New York New York hotel as a memorial. Hundreds if not thousands of shirts. It was amazing! The shirts are now gone, but have been replaced with memorial cases using some of the shirts. Nice to see if you ever visit Las Vegas.

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    Thank you for your post. It really touched my heart. I always enjoy what you say, but your words were so poignant today they deserved a thank you comment.

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    I was on the observation deck of one of the towers many years ago. It is still odd to think that it is not there, nor the many people who lost their lives there, trying to help each other down the stairs. God bless them and their families each day.

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    Pat says

    Thank you for a very touching post. I lived most of my life (until 4 years ago) in central NJ. I had been by the towers but never went to the top, regretfully. That week was a week I’ll never forget…..our town lost people that day. I was to fly out of Newark Airport 2 days later…flight postponed a few days and when I did fly, there were only a handful of us on the plane and the NYC skyline was forever changed and still smoking as I waited to board my flight. The stories of sadness, of bravery, of the way people took care of one another then and for months afterward are all etched in my memory. Thank you for reminding everyone that we should never forget. Prayers and thoughts today for all who live with their 9-11 losses daily.

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    Lynne in Hawaii says

    Thanks for the reminder Judy. It is so sad that the media, for the most part, has chosen to ignor this date. We all are still affected by the attack. Our prayers are with those who lost someone on that fateful day. We must never forget.

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    Betty J in OKC says

    I rember that day vividly too. My good friend had had a baby-girl the day before. One of my e-friends lost her brother in the WTC crashes. I went to give blood that day, but couldn’t. I went home and sewed instead. I had to use that nervous energy for good things.