Today, September 11, 2016, marks the 15 year anniversary of the most tragic day in American History during my lifetime. Remembering 9/11 means more to me than just another tragic day though. Just like our grandparents and great-grandparents, who remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on December 7, 1941 I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing September 11, 2001. Here is my account of that day.
Where I was…
I was living in my hometown of Baltimore, MD. Only 45 minutes away from D.C. About an hour from Pennsylvania. I was living with my ex and mother-in-law in a nice 2 bedroom apartment. I had a black cat name Sage and I was 7 months pregnant with my first child. Adam was still growing in my belly that day. In fact, the very next day, September 12th, marked my 7 month mark. That’s where I was that day, 15 years ago. This is me remembering 9/11.
What I was doing…
I was working in a daycare center during my pregnancy and I was helping out in the baby room that day. I was rocking a baby to sleep and looking out the window, enjoying the rays of the sun that were shining through. It was a beautiful morning and we teachers had decided that we would take the babies for a walk in the strollers. It was such a beautiful morning.
We were listening to a CD of baby music. I had to go to the bathroom so I put the baby in a bouncy chair. When I got back from the bathroom, I walked into a dark room with only a few lamps for light. The whole vibe in the room had completely changed. I heard a voice on the radio saying something about the towers but I thought I was listening to a movie preview. I honestly thought that. Looking back, when I play those moments in my head, they play out in slow motion. As if it was something that I should have known. As if it was something we all should have known. That’s how I am remembering 9/11.
Within the hour, most of the children in the daycare center had gone home. Most of the parents of these children worked in D.C. It’s not uncommon for residents of Baltimore to work in D.C. As these parents came to pick up their little ones, I saw them hug their babies tighter than I had ever seen. I saw the fear on their faces. The worry they had for their children. Slowly it started to hit me but it didn’t really hit me until…
Watching it on TV made it real…
Most of us went home that day. We contacted our families and friends. My ex, my mother-in-law and myself sat in front of the TV and watched the footage. The three of us watched the planes hit each tower. We watched the towers fall. We watched as the people of New York ran from the buildings, covered in soot and trying to make their way through the debris.
I remember seeing a photo of a young woman my age who had died. She was also seven months pregnant with her first child. She was expecting a boy and had named him Connor. I remember feeling a sense of survivor’s guilt because I was alive. My baby was going to be born while hers didn’t even have a chance. I grieved for her and her baby. five years later when my Conner was born, I thought of her and her baby. Even though his dad and I settled on the name from a TV show, I thought of her.
And what of my son?
I have seen a number of Facebook memes on the incoming freshman this year not being alive that fateful day in 2001 and how they will learn about it history class but will never really know how it felt to live through that day. They will never truly understand the fear, the heartbreak, and the anger we all felt that day and every day since. Our children will not understand how that day changed us as a nation. Do you know what they know? They know our anger. Young boys and girls know how divided we are. The youngest of the millennials don’t remember a time when we came together as a country. They don’t understand what United means when we say United States of America.
But my son will. He has. Every year, from the time he was about 4 years old, I told him of that day. His brother knows too. My boys may not fully understand the emotions behind that day. Maybe they won’t understand the significance of that tragedy and how it changed our country but they know that I remember. They have seen my tears. They felt my sadness. Remembering 9/11 is a part of their lives because it is a part of mine.
Where were you that day?
I don’t often listen to country but this song by Alan Jackson is for this day and I’m dedicating to Remembering 9/11
Thanks so much for reading!
I am linking this with these rockin’ linkies: