Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago I was standing in the back of a classroom at Oakcrest High School, my second week as a teacher's aide, when suddenly the classroom door burst open to a colleague telling us we are under attack.  I had no idea what she meant, then she turned the classroom television on, raced out of the room to let the rest of those in the hallway know.  I stood there, watching and not truly understanding what was happening.  I saw the second plane fly into the second tower and the gravity of what was actually happening in New York City came to me.  I watched as the news casters tried to explain what was happening in trickling amounts of information.  I watched in horror, covering my mouth in shock, as the towers came crashing down, first one then the second, realizing that there were people in there still.  Workers, firefighters, emergency workers, police officers .... people with parents, spouses, children, grandchildren, friends just like me. When I got home from work that day, I let Aislynn play in the living room with her toys, some cartoons on, while I sat on the edge of the bed watching the news still going on, and I called to ask my husband if he heard what had happened. I remember just thinking this is so surreal.  For a few days we watched as they pulled survivors out, then it became bodies.  I found out that my cousins husband, a firefighter in North Jersey, had decided to go to Ground Zero to help.  To this day he won't speak of what he witnessed, only saying it was more horrible than anyone can imagine and that seeing it on television is nothing compared to seeing it in front of your eyes.  I lived with a fear that my own husband, a volunteer firefighter who had been put on stand by for possible request for help, might have to go there. Thankfully, he never had to go.  Three hundred forty three firefighters lost their lives that day, along with police officers, emergency workers, and thousands of people who worked in those buildings as well as the Pentagon, and that field in Shanksville, PA.  Today I'd just like to say Thank You to those people who willingly went into those buildings and saved lives ultimately losing their own.  Thank you for being the kind of person you were and watching your families speak is an honor.  May you all rest in peace and know you are not, and never will be, forgotten.

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