I know I haven't posted a new blog in quite some time, mainly due to the quiet weather pattern. I will have something weather related next week. In the meantime, I figured I would write my thoughts out about September 11, 2001 if you don't mind.
First off, I can not believe it has been 19 years. Although I am sure it has been a long, pain-filled 19 years for those that lost loved ones on that day. I was a junior in high school in West Virginia on that day. It was a very nice, sunny and warm September day. In fact there was sunshine up and down the east coast if I remember correctly. I had gym class in the morning that year and that's where I was when the second plane struck the south tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 am ET.
I recall my gym teacher, who was a preacher, called us all over and began telling us what was going on. He, like many others, thought there was a tragic accident when the first plane hit the north tower at 8:46 am ET. Once the second plane hit, we all knew this was no mistake. I remember not really knowing how to feel. I wasn't sure if this was real, or what was going on. It was hard to take in. Once the next plane hit the Pentagon at 9:37 am ET, I think I just felt a like someone sucker punched me. There was an empty feeling in my stomach.
When I heard of United Flight 93 crashing in a field in southern Pennsylvania I think is when it all really hit me. That crash site is about two hours from where I lived. There was confusion, chaos and many questions that would go unanswered. Later in the day, I heard stories coming out about the heroes on board Flight 93 who fought back against the terrorists. They accepted the fact that they were going to die and only thought about saving others. The plane may have crashed into the White House, or Capital building. We will thankfully never know.
I was a very nervous flier then. I had only flown a few times in my life, but I did not like it. My greatest fear was dying in a plane crash. Here these people were knowing they would die and they ended up not cowering to the terrorists, not sitting in shock knowing their fate. They accepted that they were going to die in several minutes and they did not care. They thought not about themselves, but about others. That really sat with me then and it still sits with me now. I like to think that if that were me, I'd say some prayers, try to call my family, then attack the hell out of those coward terrorists! But as a 16 year old high school kid, I was scared.
I'll never forget when the twin towers fell and dust filled the air of that beautiful, sunny day. It felt like I was watching a movie. The whole day felt like that really; or like a dream. I was waiting to snap out of it and come back to reality. But, as we know, it was not a dream. This was real life and it would change the world. 2,977 people lost their lives that day and to this day, I can't understand why. I can't understand why people would do this to each other. I can't understand why human beings are willing to do horrendous things for some radical beliefs. I felt shocked, scared, sad, empty and angry that day. I still feel that every September 11 since then. It's a very sad day.
In the coming days and weeks, I will never forget how this country came together. It didn't matter if you were a Democrat, Republican, rich, or poor. We came together as Americans. Americans that had been attacked and hurt. We hurt together. We were together. There was pride nationwide for the United States of America. Do you remember what that was like? That is lacking nowadays and has been for many years. We should not be divided like we are. It seems like the only thing we can agree on is spreading hate and awful words to people we disagree with. We need to come together like we did after the attacks 19 years ago.
As I write this, I still feel like it is 2001. I feel sadness for those who lost family members. I am married now and can't even imagine what it would be like if I lost my wife, especially in a terror attack. That would be so difficult to live with. We don't have kids, but I know that would cause extreme pain to lose a child. These are the things that I think about each year on this day. I pray for those we lost and their families. I remember. I look at the American flag and feel that it means so much more after that fateful day. Please take time out of your day today to reflect, to remember, to pray, to pause for those lost. Whatever you need to do, just please never forget those innocent lives lost. We owe that to them and to the ones they loved.
Lets use this day to come together. Lets use this feeling to help us treat others better from here on out.