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9/11 Looking Back

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My Facebook Status Update 9/11/2011 :

Gasping for breath, a racing heart, awake at 6:30am. Disturbing dream. Quick. Up and out of the house. Beach; somber, cloudy, sparse. Flags raised. Not one waving. Air so still. Silence.

  • Where were you September 11th, 2001? Share your story. Leave the name of your lost loved one below.

This was the synopsis of how my morning began on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. The day the towers came down I was training a just hired staff for a sparkling, brand new Starbucks in Louisville, Kentucky. Through the drive thru window we received the frantic news from a customer that an airplane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center Towers. They turned their radio up as news of the second attack floated across the radio waves. It was apparent that something was terribly wrong.  A 15″ television was rolled out onto the floor during the rush; patrons and employees alike hovered closely to listen and watch in awe. The world had stopped. Air so still. I decided right then that I did not want the horrible images of that day seared into my brain. My mind’s eye was creating its own awful visuals from what I could hear from the news casters.

My dear friend, Bridget Maroney, from high school lived and worked in the area. We had both become so busy in our lives that we had not really kept up much but at that moment, I could not get her out of my mind. My father was set to be traveling the northeast that morning. I could not remember his business itinerary, just that he was to be in New York and DC. Like many that day, I scrambled to reach out desperately to friends and family clogging the phone lines and sending frantic emails. All my friends, including Bridget and my father, were safe. It did take days to finally breathe and know that those on my checklist were unharmed. The final outcome… I no longer take my friendships and relationships for granted. I cherish them. I do not take them lightly. I was lucky. I was not directly impacted by the terrorist attacks 10 years ago.

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I have thought about that day over the years and evaluated how I was affected and I find it surreal. I remember clearly for weeks, I felt as if I was aching and suffering a great pain in my chest as a collective whole. A massive grieving was taking place across the nation and the weight of it was crushing. I turned the television off every time news came on. I stopped listening to the radio in the car. I did not read the newspapers. I could no longer upload anymore packets of sorrow into my brain. Six month ago, I took my daughter to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California and as we turned the corner we were accosted by a 10 foot screen playing the attacks. I squeezed my eyes shut and quickly scooted past the other museum go-ers as the waterworks began. You would think that after so many years, it would subside a little.

The morning of the 10th anniversary, I turned on the television and for the first time ever, sat quietly and watched the re-play of 9/11. I listened to the same news cast I heard so many years ago. Now I saw it all, not just the glimpses in passing. I saw what I had tried so hard to keep away so many years ago. I am glad I made the choice to abstain from watching the tragedy. It was the right choice for me. We are a country still healing and from a deep wound. This one day’s events changed the course of America’s history. Whatever path we thought we were on was forever altered that day. It strengthened our sense of duty, responsibility and social good as a country.

September 11, 2001, 2983 human lives were taken from us and will always be remembered. It was a day we will never forget. Never.

God Bless America,

Marie Tahan Daniels | Editor, Giving Scene | Online

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The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is now open to the public. They have created a multimedia website to educate, inform and hold sacred the events of one day. The memorial is both beautiful and relevant in its design. 2 massive reflection pools of rushing water lie in the footprints of the two fallen towers immersing the void left in the aftermath surrounded by the names of each immortalized individual lost, etched into the bronze walls. 10 years in the making the memorial is a stepping stone to closure.

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