911…… The Day We Lost Our Innocence

12003169_1034106506634114_3101008577114232163_n     On September 11, 2001 we were watching the Today Show when they were interrupted with a News Flash.  A plane had hit the North Tower Of the World Trade Center.

     I have video footage from a firefighter that they asked not to embed so I am sharing the link.  Please be advised there is bad language when the plane hits the tower. Here is the link.

     Most news companies were on air and interrupted their own news shows for breaking news of the first plane hitting the towers.  As they are describing the carnage from the first plane of what they thought was a horrible accident, their voices went from shock to terror as the second plane hit the second tower.  Suddenly, in an instant, our safe little America no longer seemed safe as everyone realized it was no longer an accident, but a horrific act of terrorism.

d3332wn     It was not long until our horror intensified as more breaking news hit the wires.  A third plane had hit the Pentagon in Washington D.C.  There became a mad scramble to ground all planes and make sure there was an accounting of every single plane flying over the US.  However, they soon realized they were missing one. Everyone’s eyes looked to the skies afraid of where the missing plane might appear.

Image2a     Flight 93 was scheduled for a flight from New York to Chicago, but when hijackers took over the plane and allowed the passengers phone privileges, the passengers became aware of what was happening in New York and Washington and, when the plane was forced to turn to Washington DC, there was a sickening realization they would not make it out of there alive.  They discovered the plane was headed for the nation’s capital and, in an effort to save others lives, they made a choice to sacrifice their own.

Image4     Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the nerve center of the U.S. military, the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn for the worse when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke. The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles per hour and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 others were treated for injuries, many severe.

     For a while after that fateful day, all planes were grounded and the skies became eerily silent, but once the planes were once again permitted to fly, every plane was scrutinized from the ground by its fearful citizens.  I remember a soccer game where every time a plane flew overhead, all attention was averted to that plane until it would disappear from our sight and then we would breathe a sigh of relief.

149030_1724403793275_4431463_n     In 2010 we had the opportunity to visit the Under Construction Flight 93 Memorial.     It was difficult to explain to our children the significance of the site.  My son was only three when the event took place and my youngest daughter not even born.  It is difficult to explain something to someone who had no experience with it.  It is like those who experienced Pearl Harbor or those who witnessed the Challenger Explosion.  Unless you saw the mass destruction and could feel or hear the terror, you had no idea.  In 2011 our town was hit by massive flooding which destroyed our house.  It not only caused Post Traumatic Stress in our children as we had to flee for our lives, our pets were affected as well., but those who did not experience it firsthand had no clue of the carnage and devastation we were living.  It is just something you have to go through yourself but it is important to pass down the stories.

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