Nine years ago..........September 11, 2001
Nine years ago.............our world shook. It wasn't because of a natural disaster, like the Tsunami or Hurricane Katrina, but it was a far worse disaster ~ because it was created by human hatred
Life for our family is good [we are truly blessed] and the morning of September 11, 2001 found us in our typical daily routine.........up early, breakfast, drive the children to school and then Emma Sage and I would come home to a quite morning.
Rick was in Montreal, Canada, for school [we had been up to see him a week earlier and spent a glorious vacation touring Montreal, driving home Labor Day weekend.........because of the terror attacks Rick was not able to return home to us for days.]
I dropped Katrina and Greta off at Woodglen and then drove down the valley to drop Otto off at school at Valley View. On the way to Valley View I noticed a plane flying very low..........lower than I have ever seen a commercial flight on the flight pattern we see from our area heading to Newark Airport. I notice planes all the time because of Ricks career in aviation. I shrugged it off as maybe I was just off my bearings that morning.
It was truly a glorious September day,,,,,,,,,,,,,the sky was bright blue, the air was dry and warm, the landscape was draped in light that just made it look like a Rembrandt painting.
Emma Sage and I got home and went inside to hear the phone ringing. I answered the phone and it was my sister Patti, telling me to turn on the news as a small plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I had a brief moment of fear..............I had worked for years in the area and at one point in my life, had dinner at least once a week at Windows of the World,,,,,,,,,,,,,and then another sinking fear, I was supposed to be at a financial conference put on by Risk/Waters magazine this morning, but I had turned the job down because I just couldn't leave Emma Sage.
I watched the TV,,,,,talking with Patti on the phone. I said to her that I couldn't believe a small plane could have done such damage. I started to cry...........holding Emma Sage in my arms, pacing back and forth, kissing her sweet head and talking with Patti.........
and then BAMM!!!!
In horror my sister and I [on the phone with each other] watched the second plane crash into the second tower. I knew as I watched the plane that it was a big commercial plane and at that exact moment I knew this was a calculated attack.
Patti and I were both crying,,,,,trying to come to terms with what we just saw. All along I clutched this precious child of mine to my chest. Not wanting to let go of her, afraid of what was going on.
This was familiar territory to me..........buildings that were an important part of my life. I watched these buildings being built,,,,,my father driving us to the city from time to time to marvel at the progress of the towers going up,up,up,,,up. A fellow skydiver friend of mine jumped off the Trade Center. I dined at Windows of the World weekly for a few years, I traveled through the towers everyday to the American Express tower in the Financial Trade Center and the building I worked in for Merrill Lynch was the last building to fall on that fateful day. As I watched the TV screen, I was paralyzed by fear and overcome by a sadness that was, to this day, so utterly profound.
I tried to call Rick and after hours I was finally able to get through to him in Canada to let him know what was happening in the states.
I then I felt so alone. Watching the horror unfold............talking to my sister and crying, and holding my precious little girl.
As time has moved forward, I realize that there is a reason for everything [sometimes many reasons] and I know that Emma Sage is a blessing in multiple ways..........but one incredible feeling I will never release is the feeling that I have knowing that her extra chromosome [her Down syndrome] is a major reason I was not at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Her birth made Rick and I realize that my being home with the children [but especially this child],,,,giving up much in the way of income,,,,meant that she would have only family to care for her..........to work with her,,,to help her develop to her fullest potential, and it kept me home on that fateful Tuesday in September.
Today I remember a dear friend, David E. Rivers,Editor of Risk/Waters Magazine.......You were truly an amazing man, editor, writer, friend, husband and father. David, you are missed dearly and will never be forgotten.
This is the memorial at our township park.....these are beams from one of the World Trade Center buildings.
Otto helped place these flags on the field on Wednesday evening with his Boy Scout troop.......he said that each flag he placed, he had to hold back tears......
Written by a child........may we always remember.
........and on this Eve of September 11th, I reflect with even sadder and more profound tears of remembrance, as a very dear friend of mine was a first responder whose life has been deeply changed because of all he witnessed and dealt with on the scene.
I am humbled by the dignity, bravery, grace, compassion and nobility exhibited by all those who went forward without thought of themselves to help others.
I am saddened to hear others talk lightly about what happened.......and I pray that we never, ever forget what truly happened on that fateful day.
May we always remember.......
May we always remember........