Remembering September 11th

It’s hard to believe that 11 years has passed. Every year it feels like it was just yesterday when the world watched in horror as the United States suffered it’s worst act of terrorism on home soil. As a write this, I am listening to coverage of the memorial service from ground zero. I always feel a profound sense of sadness on this day. I have never visited America, yet I feel such a strong connection, particularly with the city of New York. Every year I watch the memorial service as a show of respect for the victims and their families.

This always prompts the questions about where you were and what you were doing on September 11th, 2001.

In Australia on that fateful day, it was around 10:30pm. My fiance and I were living with her parents at the time. I had just climbed into bed, when her mother told us to turn the television on. I remember my fiance was already fast asleep, so I ventured back into the lounge room. The pictures were of the blazing north tower. I could not believe what was unfolding. It was literally like we were watching a movie. We saw the 2nd plane hit the south tower. We watched in horror and disbelief as both towers collapsed. We saw vision of black smoke coming out of the Pentagon. We heard reports of a fourth plane that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania.

Over the years I have seen many of the documentaries that have surfaced about the 911 tragedies. From Flights 11 and 175 that hit the world trade center, through to Flights 77 and 93, the stories that have emerged in the aftermath are both powerful and moving.

What affects me the most are the widows/widowers and the children that would never know their father or mother. I think of the brave members of the New York Fire and Police Department’s. I marvel at the selfless actions of those on Flight 93 that fought to prevent this plane from hitting another potential target. I also reflect on the bravery of those at the Pentagon who risked their lives to save others.

As tragic as 911 was, I feel that much of the world becomes united on this day. It puts into perspective how precious life actually is. That our family and friends are to be treasured.

It saddens me that 11 years on, stories have emerged of those who worked at ground zero in the aftermath of the attacks, are now battling cancer. I also find it frustrating that the war in Afghanistan continues. Though on a day that should be reserved for reflection, I deem it inappropriate to discuss the politics of war.

There are so many stories that are attached to this day. Every year something new and different is revealed. The story in 2012 that I found both horrific and fascinating, is the note that came from the 84th floor of one of the towers. The Huffington Post reports that the note was penned by 911 victim Randy Scott. And this was confirmed by a DNA test, using blood found on the note. The reason this is so horrific is that for 10 years, Randy’s wife Denise, had assumed that her husband died instantly. To have confirmation of change in events, 10 years later, is almost incomprehensible.

There are so many stories, Many of which, I suspect have never been told.

To the victims and their families, my thoughts and prayers will forever be with you. Even from the other side of the world, you will always share a place in my broken heart.

On a day where the world is touched and united by a deep and senseless tragedy, my closing thought is:

God Bless America!