10 years have passed since one of the toughest days America has faced.  I remember that morning and the following days like it was last week.  September 9, 2001 I had just flown from Texas to Chicago with my husband to start our new life.  I was 20 and he was 23 this was the first time I had ever been a way from home, he had been in the Army this move was nothing for him.  I was heartbroken I had left all my family and friends and to top it off I was pregnant with my first child.  However, I was excited to start my life in a new place and learning all about what Chicago had to offer.

I cried most of the day that Sunday I was emotional.  Monday was a much better day; my husband went to work in the city and instead of staying held-up in the hotel we were staying at I decided to venture out.  I wanted to see all that Chicago had to present; I walked around the city a lost Texas girl trying to make the best of my new home. When my husband came home we went to go look at apartments in the city and went to dinner.  Life seemed fine; I thought I am going to be okay.

Then September 11th happened my husband went to work I kissed him good-bye watched him walk down the street from our hotel right in the heart of the city.  The streets were full of people walking, driving, smiling, talking, and just moving nonchalantly about their day.  I decided to go back into bed and watch the news, however my pregnant body felt sleep was much more important.

I woke back up to the news to see the first World Trade Center on fire and then I saw the next plane hit!  I wasn’t sure if I was seeing this, could this be?  My heart instantly started to ache, and then the Chicago news chimed in that Chicago may be under attack.  I could not get a hold of my husband— I ran to the window and saw a different sight on the streets– people running, no more smiling, there was nothing but horror and fear on their faces.  I went back to the news and saw the devastation and I just cried, my phone rang and it was my sister she didn’t know the number there, she called the hotel chain and called the Chicago hotels looking for me.  She was scared for her little sister, I told her I was okay, but I was still waiting for my husband to come home.

That’s when their was banging at the door, I had doubled locked the door {in fear} and my husband couldn’t get in.  I opened the door to see my husband he hugged me tight.  He still wasn’t completely sure what happened, all he knew was a plane hit the World Trade Center.  I got off the phone with my sister to get my husband caught-up on the horror I had seen, we would spend the next few days glued to the television and cooped-up in the hotel room.  We hung onto every word Peter Jennings spoke.

When you looked out the window the days following, Chicago was not the same the streets were sparse and peoples’ heads hung low.  Chicago was different, America was different sadly these events have shaped us.  This day is a tough day in our history, but it is there. We need to take away the stories of all those we lost, those who sacrificed for others, and make sure those stories of those people, of those heroes are forever remembered.

This day should be remembered, and we should take the strength of those who have lost so much, and make it our own.  When we speak to our children today about September 11, 2001 we need to make sure to remind our children we have to push forward through adversity, yet never forget our past.

My heart is aching again today… my love to all the families who lost someone on that horrific day.

xoxo- AOK

 

September 11, where do I begin? Ten years ago, I was 8.5 months pregnant, expecting my second child. I had a three year old little girl at the time. I remember it started out as a regular old day for me. Get up, get ready, eat breakfast, take my daughter to pre-school, watch Oprah and talk to my mom. As soon as I got home, I turned on the tv, sat on the couch and started talking to my mom. Little did I know at the time what was going on was about to change America, and the rest of the world, forever.

I sat my swollen, pregnant self down and I saw one of the twin towers filled with smoke. I had no idea what was going on but just at that moment, I saw it. The second plane…went right into the other building! I remember telling my mom, “Oh my God, that plane just crashed into that building!” to which I think I repeated it a few more times just out of shock. I was glued to my television set as I watched a smoke filled building, flames coming from windows, people waving things out of the window…then something I only saw in the movies, a man…jumping from the window. As I sit here writing this, that image has never left my mind. I kept thinking about the poor innocent people who’s lives were lost, the rescue workers who risked their lives, and ended their lives coming to the aid of people they never knew, the families who’s lives were altered, changed forever. How in the world could this be happening? We are in America, this type of thing doesn’t happen here!!! I was furious.

I sat there in disbelief as we got word another plane crashed into the Pentagon. Are you serious…another crash? The reporters were jumping back and forth from New York to Virginia and my heart just kept dropping and sinking. Watching the people in New York running, not even sure where they were running to…to the people in Virginia, trying to figure out how many people were injured and what other safety issues were. When I thought I had seen enough, one of the towers collapses. “Oh my God” was something I repeated so many times I sounded like a tape recorder. I said it over and over again and my eyes just kept swelling up with tears. My heart was racing and I felt anxiety coming on, I needed to move around. Just then, I turned to go upstairs and caught a glimpse of the first tower come crashing to the ground. White dust, smoke, ashes, people running from here to there, injured people limping and running covered in blood …this is indescribable! I can’t believe this, I thought. I have to be having a horrible nightmare. I wasn’t dreaming anything….really, another attempt? A fourth plane crashed down in Pennsylvania. When it was heard that passengers took the plane down in a heroic attempt to save either the White House or Capitol building, I mean, what can you say, other than Thank You?

Pure sadness. My heart aching. I wanted to be with my daughter, I wanted my husband home, I wanted things to be the way they were before I dropped my daughter off at preschool. I wanted normal back. Only that wasn’t going to happen, not then, not ever. America was forever changed.

The days following the attacks were somber ones for me. I was shell-shocked. It took a couple days, but I did see a certain sign of American strength as we all banned together, stood up with pride, and began to put the pieces of our lives back together. The words, “United We Stand”….graced the front page of all our newspapers.

To this day, I often think of 9/11 with so many mixed emotions. My heart will always and forever go out to those who lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents. They will forever be known as heroes. In a way, they went to war without even knowing it. They lost their lives for our freedoms. A flood of emotions come to the surface as I write this because no matter what goes on in my own personal life, I will never forget. I will always remember. Now, my children are 10 years older. My daughter is 13 and I have watched all the Remembering 9/11 and it is up to me to make sure that all three of my children never forget those who have given up their lives, willingly or otherwise, to make sure that they continue to live in the land of free, and the home of the brave.

To those who have lost loved ones, family and friends, I continue to pray for you and your families. May God bless you and keep you safe.

–Phyllis

Written by Adina K - - Visit Website