9/11 and the One Thing I Can’t Forget

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It’s September 11th, and I suspect that most of us have already recalled where we were and what we were doing when the terrorists attacked us on that tragic day in 2001. Like you, I had no idea what would unfold as I drove to the office on that beautiful morning.

People were already gathered in the company conference room watching the television when the second airplane hit. We closed the office immediately, and I drove home consumed with shock and fear. My brother-in-law was in New York for a meeting at the World Trade Center that very morning. For hours we watched the news, and cried and prayed and tried to call him.

Late that afternoon, our phone finally rang. It was him, calling to say that his meeting had been incredibly, miraculously rescheduled at the last minute. He was shook up, watching everything unfold from a nearby hotel, but he was safe.

A sort of phenomenon occurred in the days and weeks following 9/11—do you remember? Americans were more united that we’d ever been in my lifetime. Flags flew outside every home and business. It seemed like people were kinder and gentler with one another. We reached out to our loved ones, we hugged more, we had a fresh appreciation for what was truly important, and we set aside our differences. We rallied around the victims and their families, and honored our police officers and fire fighters. We were our best selves in those tender days after the attacks.

We all learned many hard lessons on September 11, 2001, but the one I want to renew is my commitment toward that united spirit.

I hope September 11th always reminds me that we are all in this together, and every day we have together is a gift.

Hugs,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

5 comments to 9/11 and the One Thing I Can’t Forget

  • I do remember that day very clearly and while we were shocked what went through my head was my fear for my son who had decided he wanted to join the Army. Here was my baby who was just becoming an adult and now I knew I would face the very real possibility he might go to war. Funny how I suspected our response would be to send troops out but yes, that’s what I feared and it did come true. My son did fight in the war on terror and while suffers from PTSD is at least in one piece and doing better.

    Now if we could only find a way to connect and care about our fellow human beings every day.

  • Being the night owl that I am, the attack was over hours before I woke up that morning. But I had just rescued a cat a week or so earlier and he was living in my basement until he (ahem) figured out the litter box. So I was downstairs playing with him, and lamenting the fact that he had, once again, peed in his bed and slept in his litter box, when the phone rang. It was CatMan calling to tell me what had happened.

    What I remember more vividly than anything else was how my perspective on everything instantly shifted. I picked up & hugged the cat (who I ended up having 12 beautiful years with.) I suddenly didn’t care where he peed. And for some reason I was instantly overcome with an immense sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the roof over my head, for my job that I had spent endless hours complaining about, gratitude for CatMan, and even gratitude for my crazy messed up family.

    In a terribly, horrible way, that day was a gift, or at least a lesson, for all of us.

  • I remember how nice everybody was to one another for the days, weeks, and even months after 9/11. I had hoped that out of the tragedy would come a bond that would at least honor those who lost their lives, but sadly, it seems that the added civility brought after that event has for the most part vanished.

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