September 10, 2011

9-11 Remembrance and Lessons

personal photo, created to commemorate the 10-year anniversary

September 11, 2001. It started out as an ordinary day. My husband and I went to our respective jobs. It was a Tuesday. At my office, the management team had already begun their monthly meeting. I was hunkered down in the land of corporate cubicles. I was working and writing in my office, every now and then glancing out at my aerial view of downtown Knoxville. I was thankful that everyone had finally finished the usual morning chit-chat sessions. It was quiet. I was digging deep for some writing inspirations so I could complete the latest report, missive, or procedure assignment. 

Then a co-worker got a phone call. His wife said that the news reported a plane had flown into a New York City building. I popped out of my chair, rocking on my toes to look over the grey fabricated walls that boxed me in. I asked, “On purpose?” He said they didn’t know. I asked which building. He said the World Trade Center. I knew then that we were under attack and I answered my own question out loud. “Of course, it was on purpose.” 

Our world changed that day. Innocent citizens, going about their normal, everyday lives were killed that day. Murdered in cold blood. The terrorists were part of a radical Islamist group, fanatics who hate our way of life and freedoms. And it should not be a news flash that these zealots still hate our guts and want to kill us. 

Hate is a powerful thing. It can turn into evil in the blink of an eye. 

In the days that followed that fateful day, Americans stood in solidarity against a common enemy. While the Nation healed, we supported and respected each other. Time passed. It’s now been 10 years. In many ways, it seems so long ago. Sadly, the unity is gone now and this country seems more fractured than ever, only made worse by the uncivil discourse of those currently in power. 

I sadly shake my head, amazed at how many have lost their way and perspective in the past decade. Did 9-11 not teach us anything? 

We should remember those lives that were lost and honor their memory. They were everyday folks. They were just like us. It could have been us. 

We should remember the heroes, who faced the chaos and gambled with their lives to save others. If we had been in their shoes, would we have made the same sacrifices? 

We should remember how we once stood as One Nation, Under God. We mourned together. We treated each other with kindness, respect, and tolerance. 

We should remember that we have enemies who want to annihilate us and our way of life. As a result, we need to stay vigilant, strong, resolute, and united. 

America will never be destroyed from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
~ Abraham Lincoln ~


  1. Oh Donna, how well I remember that day. TG was in DC and I feared he wouldn't be able to get home. The kids were terrified. I was at home and I don't think I moved from in front of the TV for at least 12 hours. It was horrific beyond imagining. How tragic that there are those now who would try to shame us for refusing to forget. We will not only remember what was done, but we will remember who did it. There is an enemy and it does not go by the nebulous generic name of "terror." God help us. God bless America.

  2. Excellent points including the one about the civil discourse of this administration. Shameful. If anyone made up a quiz of the comments made and gave a line-up of the possible commenters, most people would get it wrong. Further, they'd blame President Bush. Tough times to be living through even now.

    What an interesting video. Those creators are very talented.

  3. What memories we have that will never fade! I remember that day as if it were yesterday - and everything I did and thought. I was so proud to be an American. And I still am!

  4. I was upstairs in my old office working on invoices...I had a 13inch TV and it was on. Someone was filming downtown when all of a sudden they started hollering that a plane had just flown into the Twin Towers...I watched in horror as it did just that...and Then the second one, about 10min later...I Knew we were under attack...God in Heaven...

  5. PS- Sorry...what a WEEK....
    I DO LOVE your photo Donna...absolutely Beautiful!

  6. I was home getting ready to head to the hospital for my first mammogram. I wondered whether to reschedule or go to my appointment but decided being at the hospital would be a safe place. It was strange and quieter than a hospital usually even is. With people asking in whispered tones what news you heard. Perfect quote you shared from Lincoln!

  7. I was at work listening to talk radio when they broke in and said what had happened. I, like you, knew immediately that it was on doubt in my mind. I got up to tell people at the office and they all looked at me like I was nuts.Then an announcement was made over the PA system. I work for a Christian company and they asked everyone that wanted to go to the auditorium to please go so they could pray. It's scary the way our country is going. I fear in another 10 years we won't recognize her.

  8. I remember coming home for lunch that day and turning on the tv only to see the news report of what had happened. It was horrifying.


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