I’ve been watching the documentaries on 9/11 on tv this morning. I remember how shocking that day was, but time has dulled it a little. I remember watching all the news broadcasts available and all of the versions of the towers falling on every channel available. It was shocking and horrific. But, I live a very long way from New York and had never even seen the Twin Towers or visited New York. It was a place somewhere far away from my normal existence. Still, I have always been very patriotic and the realization that someone had the audacity to attack innocent people in one of our biggest cities brought forth many emotions. Horror, fear for what was to come, obsessive fascination, and anger for what had happened all rolled around inside me fighting with understanding. As emotional as it was for me, never having lived in New York, and living in Texas when this happened made me realize my emotions had to be very small compared with those who were seeing and experiencing the tragedy as it happened. This was not war-time. It was an ordinary day. People were going to work or were already working when this happened. It was the worst violation of our way of life that had ever happened. An unwarranted attack on innocent working people, not trained military personnel in harm’s way on high alert. It truly felt like the end of the world as we knew it. Almost 3000 men, women, mothers, brothers, fathers, and children were attacked that day. And many more firefighters and emergency personnel who put their lives on the line every day rose up to the occasion. Trained men and women who tried to put tools and experience in motion to “normalize” and deal with what had never happened before. The news pictures of the plane hitting the first tower was horrifying. I wondered who could do something like that? Who could deliberately crash an airliner into a tower full of people? And then the second airplane hit the second tower. Were we truly under attack? Debris was falling as people looked in shock at the smoke and fire pouring out of the two towers. And then the towers, in horrifying disbelief, seemed to just collapse, one floor sitting down on top of the one beneath and crushing it in seemingly slow motion that took 11 seconds to disappear. Now ash and smoke filled the air and people were running in the streets. It truly seemed to be the end of the world. This day changed our perceptions and our lives in a short period of time. Despite the 10 years that have passed since that day, we must guard ourselves and guard our minds. We must never return to the complacent, apathetic people we were before that day. We can stay strong and united as a people as long as we remember to care for each other, and to take care of each other. We are not alone.
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