That day will forever be branded in our minds. Between the first impact of the planes, watching as those poor people jumped to their deaths, the towers crumbling and just the total devastation, so hard to take in and believe this was really happening.
Yet out of that devastation rose the stories of heroism of the emergency personnel that rushed towards the danger – many not making it back out. The men on United Airlines flight 93, that over-took the terrorists crashing the plane into a field instead of the intended target. Then hearing the last words of Todd Beamer, “Are you guys ready? Okay. Let’s roll!” So many examples of selfless acts of courage in the face of such evil.
I visited New York’s Ground Zero with my family in 2006. We were all overcome with emotion when we first saw the devastation up close. Since that time we have gone back and in 2012 we were able to see the newly constructed memorial. The waterfalls were certainly beautiful, but didn’t have the same impact as the first visit.
This past spring, I and a friend ran in the More/fitness Women’s Half Marathon in New York’s Central Park. We went to the Memorial and the Church that houses all the tributes from survivors to those who lost their lives. It made it all too real when we came upon a family that was sobbing as they held each other in a corner of the Church. They were survivors of a lost loved one.
I’ll never forget during that early part of the attack when we really weren’t sure what was going on. Rumors were flying about what would be other targets. Not taking any chances, I went to my son’s school, directly across from our State Capital, and took him out early. The office was crowded with other parents. Alex vividly remembers that day. He’s now 18 and this is a picture of him at the 911 Memorial in 2012.
We will never forget the horror and pain of that day and days that followed, but also the heroes that emerged and their examples of great courage.
With love from us to you, New York City. We will be back.