The sign-up for this tribute was closed when I attempted it this morning. I first read about it at TRUTH IS FREEDOM. If you go there, Brian has all the relative links to the original project site. It is a wonderful idea that I would have liked to have included myself as part of, but I've read some beautiful tributes this past weekend (Brian has written an especially nice one). Bloggers have signed up to write tributes to those who were lost on that day. It is nice to see their individual lives memorialized.
September 11, 2001 - 9/11 - truly a date that will live on in infamy. As is customary on national holidays and as many did in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy, I am flying my country's flag in honor of those lost on that day.
But what a beautiful day it started off as. I was 7 months pregnant at that time and was commuting to work in Manhattan. I would take the QM12 Express Bus into the city on the days that I worked (I was always off on Friday). This day as many will remember was just a gorgeous September Day - the bluest of blue skies greeted me that morning. The bus ride was no different than other days - the bus making time in the bus lane on the Long Island Expressway (LIE)to the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Between Julian kicking madly in my uterus while I would try to read a book, I would look out the window at the city skyline and just ruminate about life with my hand reassuring Julian that he would be here soon. Then we entered the tunnel and it took us a long time to get through. Too long - what's going on?
We got out of the tunnel at very close to 9:00 and there were sirens screaming through the air. Police cars, fire engines speeding by. The unmarked official black vehicles. People were on cell phones on the bus with reports streaming in that a "commuter plane" had hit into the World Trade Center. As we crossed 34th Street and looked downtown, there was the thick billow of black smoke pouring out of the Trade Center. By the time I was walking to my office, people were out near cars, gathered near delivery trucks listening to radios - the second tower had been hit. By the time that I got to my office, I just sat in my chair dazed listening to the news on the radio. Some of my coworkers went downstairs to watch news on television, but I just sat there at my desk. I desperately tried contacting my best friend in life who works in the World Financial Center, to no avail. Thankfully by afternoon, I talked to her and she was okay and coming to meet me. My experience of that day was different than hers, I did not see things first hand. She saw workers plummeting to their deaths from her office building. When I met her, she was shellshocked.
I know I changed on that day along with millions of other people. I became more patriotic then and I remain so proud of this country now. Because I know when you say America it does mean a country of freedom, caring and helping those in need, despite what others would want the world to believe. I know that because that is who I am and I am an American and these were values that I grew up with and impart to my children.
My heart weeps for those who lost someone on that day. We must always remember - never forget.
This post is in honor of our fellow human beings who were lost on that tragic date. May their memories all be a blessing to those they left behind.