Monday, September 09, 2019

Remembering 9/11

This week marks the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Even now, thinking about that day makes me feel melancholy. The world changed that day. It became much smaller and more divided. 
I remember within a few feet, of where I was standing on the morning of September 11, 2001. I was in Birmingham, attending a training class. Arriving early, I'd just poured a cup of coffee and was getting ready to sit down in the break room to wait for the class to begin. Several other people were drifting in.
A TV mounted on the wall was muted until we saw those first images on the screen. Several of the people who worked with me were in the Steven Covey training class – What Matters Most. Let that sink in.
The course description said it teaches how to do self-evaluation and gives students the tools to determine what is important in their lives. You can understand that some of the things that seemed important to me changed that day.
We all stood there, silently watching the screen and trying to wrap our minds around what had just happened. 
At first, I thought it was a small plane. But then the video clips began looping across the screen. Then another airliner struck the second tower. There were no dry eyes in that breakroom.
That evening when I got home Jilda hugged me as I walked through the door. 
We had friends that lived in Manhattan. Getting through to them was challenging, but we learned they were safe. Forever changed, but safe.
Neither of us had much of an appetite that evening. Stepping out to the back deck, we sat lost in our thoughts as the ice ticked in our tea glasses. 
We live in the flight path for the airport in Birmingham. The planes come over high, but almost any time of the day you can look up and see aircraft whispering across the sky dragging contrails behind them. 
After the attack on the World Trade Center, the government ordered all aircraft grounded.
On that afternoon, the thing that I heard most was silence. I know that doesn't make sense, but the silence was profound. Even the hawks, crows, and sparrows seemed to be in mourning. I will never forget that day.
Another thing I remember is how our country pulled together. Other countries from around the world hurt with us. 
There will be many tributes to 9/11 this week. People who were old enough to remember will reflect on the events of that day.
I'm not sure I can add anything significant here, except to say that there was one tribute from a few years ago that resonated with me. It was a slideshow with haunting pictures. The slideshow was set to the Simon and Garfunkel song, "The Sound of Silence." A heavy metal band performed the song. The power of those words and images brought tears to my eyes.
Googling that tribute, I watched it again today. Afterward, I took a mug of coffee to the back deck and sat for a long while. Before 9/11, I'm not sure I’d ever REALLY heard the sound of silence.


  1. The sky was silent, and people were also mostly silent. I remember watching the building fall from across the river in Jersey City. Thousands of people left their offices and marched slowly and silently west away from NYC, trying to figure out how to get home...cell service was almost non-existent.

  2. The sound of silence is profound.
    Across the world we remember that day.

  3. Are they teaching this in Social Studies or History in school?

    That is profound. Silence is hard to find.

  4. Thanks, and very well stated. Yes our world changed that day!
    Sherry and jack

  5. We will never forget that day.

  6. Such a sad and scary day. I will always remember every detail of that day from where I was when I saw it and how the whole day went after that. There was such somber and silence afterwards for viewers. Im sure it sounded like Hell in the presence.

  7. That is such a nice tribute. I don't think any of us will ever forget what we were doing at the time of that fateful moment in time. I was at work listening to the radio and couldn't believe what I was hearing.

  8. Anyone who watched, with horror and disbelief, the events of that day will surely never forget it.

  9. We also live in the fly path of our airport and I remember a lot flights were diverted that day and the sky over us was filled with airplane and a multitude of contrail was visible. It was surreal. We were glued to the TV in disbelief as the events unfolded.
    We are forever changed also.
    Hugs, Julia

  10. As I watched the second plane fly into the building I knew that someone had declared war on us. It was sobering to say the least.

  11. We were in Santa Barbara on our honeymoon ~ we will never forget.
    Went to the beach and just listened to the roar of the waves.

  12. Again, you've redefined the term 'poignant.' No doubt, my cosmetics will lay untouched tomorrow. I doubt there will ever come an anniversary I don't cry.

  13. I was home from work that beautiful morning. We had just moved into our new home..the Pines...and was sitting with a friend when I got a call to turn on the TV because something was happening in NYC. It changed me in so many ways and I will forever have that day with it's images etched in memory. The video you mentioned is so beautiful. I cried the first time I saw it and will watch it again tomorrow and remember that day quietly and reverently.

  14. Here in Australia the news came in overnight. I remember the night well and eventually got up at 2am and sat in front of the tv in disbelief. It didn't seem real, but by dawn the reality hit and yes the world changed for all of us.

  15. This is a day of infamy to take from another famous but sad day. I will always recall where I was and how I was glued to the tv when I got back from work. I like to remember all the people that came together and helped others get down like the blind man with his dog who helped many others that day too. The courage of people is what I wish to recall and honour


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