Friday, September 11, 2009

Because I Remember

This morning, I was awakened by the sounds of heavy equipment working on the road. In a lull between men shouting and the metal clang of the dump truck, I heard the train rumble by and blow its whistle as it chugged along. Just after that, I heard a small plane on its landing approach a quick five minutes from my house at Arnold Palmer Airport.

Instead of being annoyed or bothered by the clamor, I whispered, "Thank you God & Goddess for these sounds. Thank you."

Because I remember living just 45 minutes up the road from D.C. where panic screamed in the streets as the Pentagon was hit by a jet. I remember the phone lines going down in the national emergency and being cut off from my friends and family. I remember wondering what the hell was going on. I remember not being able to call to check on people, but being amazed that thanks to the Internet, friends in Russia and Scotland were sending frantic emails to hear if I was all right. How the world had changed so quickly...

I remember how completely overwhelming the silence of the following days was as planes, for the first time in our history, were grounded. No distant noise of jets and things flying high over my head. I didn't even know until it was silenced, how much air traffic is simply part of the white noise, the symphony of living in a modern age. But, the silence was deafening. Eerie. Foreboding.

Now, I live about 35 minutes away from Shanksville, PA. It's absolutely in the middle of nowhere on the road to nothing. When friends and family visit, we take them to see the crater created when United Flight 93 was driven into the ground like an arrow by brave Americans determined to prevent further damage to their country. Who refused to let their impending doom be meaningless.

Their final resting place is in a field near farms- an all American landscape. Beautiful. Always reverently silent and always you can hear the sound of the wind in your ears as you take in, or try to take in, the sacred atmosphere of heroism. The truth that Human Beings are capable of such glorious acts of selflessness and love. Patriotism. I prefer to remember these acts; these images.

I remember being in class a day after these horrors. Wondering how many of my kids would show up. Being so awed when all of them arrived. College kids eyes wide, heads shaking with disbelief and sadness. Tears. With a large majority of them being from New York and the surrounding areas, trying to determine if their fathers, mothers, family, many of whom worked in the Twin Towers were alive, missing...dead. I remember being one of the few adults who could be there for them as they waited and wondered. I remember hugging all 45 of them as they filed out at the end of the class with a word of encouragement to each. I remember how quietly the world moved along in those few days immediately following.

I remember when the New York skyline looked like this. A sparkling jewel. And, I ache each time I see a movie that captured, without realizing the implication, these twin industrial constellations as a background in a scene. The electric firmament is forever changed. The World Trade Center is no more; existing now only on celluloid.

But, I remember. My son remembers and so now serves our country as an Airman. And, all in America remember in their way. Because, to not remember would mean it was for nothing. And that...that would be a shame.

So, I remember and that's all I can do as I hold hope and work for better and more for all of us. For we are Citizens of The World. And, what happened here in our United States on 9/11/01 did not happen only to us...it happened to all. Because we are all, the profane and the sacred, connected as Human Beings.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Remembers

29 comments:

Sunny said...

Thank you for your well said and touching post. I know I will never forget this date.
God Bless America.
Sunny

Barbara said...

Oh, Holly,

What a beautiful tribute. I woke up this morning at the same time I did that day and turned on the TV remembering. Bless your son as he serves. And you and yours.

Hugs, Barbara

Tabitha@ichoosebliss.net said...

Oh Holly, how I remember. My cousin works in the Pentagon and was there on that day, but thankfully was not harmed. I'll never forget the images the media embedded within our minds. I'll never forget the looks on faces of those searching for their loved ones.

I'll never forget.

Mel said...

This was the first time anything happened in my lifetime that springs to mind when the 'what were you doing when...' questions arises.

I was heading out to *work* a horse, just coming onto the racetrack when one of the clockers poked his head out of his *shack* and said that there had been an explosion - at that time it was thought that it was a bomb - at the WTC. By the time we had finished the work (about 2 minutes-worth of hard and fast) and were riding past the shack again, the second plane had hit. The rest of the morning was spent in a haze of pain,confusion and desperation for accurate information. The usual banter of the shedrows subsided...just the going about of necessary business (we horsey people are notorious for just getting on with what needs to be done)...suddenly, it all seemed a bit pointless.

Woodbine is right beside Pearson International Airport and planes overhead is a frequent occurence. I,too,remember the eerie silence of the skies in the days afterward...

I also remember the wracking sobs as I stared in horror at the faces of the people who were waiting for news of their loved ones....

And the bravery...the selfless bravery....

And the rage and disbelief....that I still feel, when I allow myself to go there, because we are still floundering around with our heads up our backsides while more of our young people head off to die -- and for what? Because the useless bastards can't set aside their egos long enough to just sit down and talk. Talking. An oversimplification? Maybe. But 8 years later...where are we?

*sigh*

Seems I had more to say than I thought...sorry, Dear One, for commandeering your space for my tirade...:(

~love and blessings~

Chester said...

We will all remember the odd feelings of that day as much as the horrible visions we watched over and over.
May your son be kept safe as he protects our country.
Chester's Mom

Toni said...

what YOU said, although my memories aren't those exactly ... I was writing this morning about lingering melodies, like lingering memories of voices, laughs, hands, gestures ...

Sara said...

I remember too Holly. Lovely words.

Eileen said...

Probably one of the best tributes I will see all day ... than you Holly and God Bless Evan, Will and all of us!

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

Thank you for this touching post. And thank your wonderful son for doing his duty for his country. I am a wife of a retired career Marine who is my everyday hero - I thank God every day that he is here with me.

Lynn

Alix said...

Your prose is pure poetry. So beautifully constructed and heart-wrenching and emotional.

Thank you for your tribute, God bless you, your son, our country and this planet.

Life With Dogs said...

A wonderful remembrance Holly. I'm sure we would all say the same if we had your gift for translating our emotions to written form. So thanks for saying so well what is in the hearts of so many on this day.

Rose said...

I think we all remember that day. I remember being told by a friend as we set off to walk the dogs but she was hazy about the details and whether she had got it right. I went home after and switched on the TV. I couldn't switch it off, vigil by TV. The only support I could give in that moment was to witness and not turn my head away.

joyce said...

Your tribute gives me the shivers.....may I save it & print it? Just for myself. I'm not an American, but I do remember that today is the day, I do remember being at work, listening to the radio, when the urgent interruptions came on, and then again, and again. I do feel for and think of all Americans on this day, knowing that any major city in the world could suffer the same atrocity.

Kyddryn said...

We remember.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

Teresa said...

Thank you for remembering and telling your story. The thought you put in here really shows.

Yes, God Bless America!!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Dear Holly.

This is one of your most powerful and profound writings yet. Touching and emotional. Thank you.

God Bless America and your son who serves.

Kathleen

Cyndy said...

Holly,

Thank you for sharing your story. I have spent the day writing and reading about memories of that day, of that moment. I did not turn on the TV to hear the recaps. I wanted to relive it through real people's stories, not the media's. It has become a thread in our American tapestry. I am especially touched since you and your family are making the ultimate sacrifice, and I share in the other's prayers for your son's safety and well being.

Cyndy
110 Penned

sema said...

Holly,
A touching tribute.
blessings
sema

The Fragrant Muse said...

Beautifully written, thank you. I have a hard time reading these memorials because I don't want to relive that day.

Linnea said...

Holly, this is absolutely beautiful. I've been back there (meaning 9.11.01) all day, when I haven't been thinking of the niece who did two tours in Iraq or the other niece's husband who served in Afghanistan. Blessings to you and to your son.

miss*R said...

I visited New York in 2001, in the December just after that day - with a New York resident. I will never forget what I saw on that day either, it was surreal. Even though something dreadful had happened there, there was also a sense of Sacredness.

where was I? it was late at night for me, I was on the computer chatting to a friend who lives in Rochester NY.. I will never forget that second when she typed 'oh my god, a plane has hit the Twin Towers'...at the same moment, my husband shouted to come see the television

Joanna Jenkins said...

Dearest Holly, As soon as I saw Evan's name/uniform photo on my blog roll, I knew your post would bring me to tears-- Real tears from eyes that rarely can squeak any out. So I waited to read your your post until I was alone and quiet and ready for the flood of tears and emotions I knew it would generate.

Your gift with words touches my heart and captures so much of what I am feeling today. Thank you for sharing. I can picture every one of your students and your hugs. I am sure they are still talking about you and your class the day after the attacks and how much your kindness meant to them.

God bless Evan, all our soldiers and you. And God bless America.

xo

Kamana said...

what a beautiful tribute! i dont think there is a soul in the world who wasnt affected by 9/11.

Ribbon said...

Well shared Holly :)

I remember too.

best wishes
Ribbon xx

♥ Braja said...

Nice post Holly. Though I wouldn't call it "patriotism." I'd call it a reaction from the heart and soul of a human being, a natural response from the essence of the self that without thought acts for the protection of others. It doesn't matter about countries: it matters about that.

cinner said...

Holly, this was an amzing tribute, God Bless America, and bless your son. It is because of those brave,brave souls that will make a better world for us all. Big hug.

beth said...

I remember too....and I always will....

anne h said...

NYC is STILL a shining jewel -
God is Love
Peace to you - and all of us!

Kristin said...

Thank you Holly, and thanks to your son and his fellow men and women of service for protecting our freedoms. I remember, like you, how quiet it was in the days following 9/11/01 when air travel was suspended. I also remember how horrified I was for a long time once planes started flying overhead again. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, and thank you for allowing me to share a few of mine.

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