This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on America. Like the December 7th 1941 surprise attack by the Japanese on Peal Harbor, the tragedy of 9/11/01 will live on in infamy. The attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC resulted in 2997 deaths the worst single terrorist attack in history. It was the first time terrorist took over passenger jets and deliberately flew them into buildings. It was also the first time this type of terrorist attack had ever been broadcast live on television.
I will never forget the morning of 9/11/01. I was still in bed when my wife called me around 5:50 to tell me that she had just heard that a passenger plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately switched on the TV and was shocked to see tower one of the World Trade Center aflame. I watched in awe as the newsman explained that a plane had crashed into the building. Less than fifteen minutes later a second plane plowed into the second tower. It was horrific! A half hour later it was reported that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon and twenty minutes after that another hijacked plane headed for Washington went down in a field in Pennsylvania, stopped before reaching its target by a group of passengers, modern day heroes.America was under attack.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. How could this be happening? How could terrorist have pulled off such an assault. I felt sick and shivery, like someone had knocked the wind out of me. You see, just the year before we had been to New York City and been up to the observatory on 110th floor of the south tower.
We’d gone to Clifton Park near Albany to visit my cousin and took the train into the city for a one day whirlwind tour. We went to Time Square, Park Avenue and Central Park to see Strawberry Fields. From there we walked to the Dakota Apartments so I could see where John Lennon had lived and been slain. We then made our way to the World Trade Center.
I remember standing outside the towers gazing up at these magnificent giants! Earlier we had talked about going out to the Statue of Liberty but Tom, my cousins husband, wanted to go up to the observatory. They’d lived in New York nearly ten years and never been. We stood there talking about what to do. If we did the observatory we probably wouldn’t make it to the Statue of Liberty. I was okay with that, but for some reason my cousin seemed a bit reluctant. I will never forget Tom saying to my cousin, “Come on Doreen, we’re here now, I say we go on up, it could be a once in a lifetime thing!” No truer words were ever spoken. It was prophetic.
We went up to the observatory and I’m glad we did. It was an awesome experience! We didn’t make it out to Lady Liberty or the Empire State Building, but I got to see them from the top of the world and they looked incredible from 110 floors up!
I’ll never forget my visit to the World Trade Center, just as I’ll never forget the events of 9/11. On Sunday take a moment to honor the memory of those who lost their lives that fateful day in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, those unsuspecting souls who went to work that morning expecting nothing more than the usual, the airline passengers, the heroic firemen, police officers and other rescue
workers who gave their lives to save others. Remember these innocent victims of our fight for freedom. Thy died for the greater good Say a prayer for them and the families left behind. Honor their memory…