Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago Today

Seven years ago today...I was sitting in front of my television watching the Today Show with Katie Couric and what I saw happen live would change our lives forever. I know that everyone has a story about that day: where they were, what they were doing, what they felt, how it touched their lives. Mine is no different, but somehow it helps me to remember how blessed I was that day and how frightened I was when I watched that plane crash into that building.

My daughter was in Boston waiting to fly to Paris to study abroad. She was scheduled to take a plane to New York City and then fly on to Paris with her friend. Her flight was to leave Boston. My instant thought was panic when I heard the plane that crashed into the tower was from Boston. My heart stopped. I called her on her cellphone immediately and she answered. You can't imagine the relief I felt when I heard her voice. She had not even heard about the planes or the attack. She had heard, however, that her flight was canceled and was upset about it until I called her. And then, she panicked. Her friend's father worked in one of the towers. One of her sorority sister's father worked there as well. Several of the people she knew that graduated from Bentley College worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. She began to cry, as did I. It was one of those moments that we would never forget.

As it turns out, both of her friend's fathers were safe. They had gotten stuck in traffic on the George Washington bridge that morning. The graduates who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald (who had only started after Labor Day) died that day. The college campus was in mourning for months afterwards. My daughter somehow mustered up the courage to fly to Paris after the flight groundings were lifted. In retrospect, I don't know how she did it. When she arrived in Paris there was an outpouring of support for the United States. Memorials existed all over the city. Church services were held to pray for those families who were affected by the attacks. The Paris police stood guard with machine guns all around the city and in the airport and subway system.

Our lives have gone on since then, just as they did in the days after the attack. But somehow I think people have forgotten how they felt about their country and about their fellow man. We may always remember the tragedy of September 11th, but it's unfortunate we have forgotten the unity we all felt as Americans and as human beings that day and in the days that followed.

Today I'm trying to remember the overwhelming love and compassion I felt for all human life that day, even my enemies....
Texas Fan

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