"The only way to do great work is to love what you do" (stolen from a Colin Smith comment)
On that day of tears and dust we learned, that by simply going to work, because we are Americans we are vulnerable. We were so unified. What has happened to us? Did they take that too?How do we honor fallen innocents? Like you said by never forgetting.I want to say more. I cannot.
When the OKC bombing occurred (I went to college at the University of Oklahoma), I was devastated, but I remember thinking: only a handful of people did this horrible thing but look how many people came to help, to sift through the dangerous remnants for the horrifying task of removing bodies (hoping for survivors), to give blood and money and help. When the towers were destroyed, I was home sick and devastated again that a handful of people had willingly done such horrible things, but, again, I thought of how many people who tried to help, risked (and lost) their lives trying to save others, both before and after the collapses. In my opinion, it's important to remember that a very limited number of people can cause horrific suffering and pain, but I think its just as important to remember there are more good people than bad and that many are just as willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of others. If we are going to counter hatred in the long run, it will be by standing together doing good. If we don't lose sight of that, we'll always win. At least that's what I think
Even up here near Vancouver, BC, we were affected by this day too.I was 11 at the time. I was being woken roughly by my parents to see the towers on television. There was only one when I got there and we watched it collapse before they took me to the school. That was all anyone would talk about that day.
My precious niece was born on this day three years ago, so the date now has a joyful slant as well. But, thinking back to eleven years ago, the images of flowers, tears, smoke, running, falling, and planes crashing into tall, strong buildings on a a beautiful, clear day come flooding back. I remember being at work and falling to my knees as I watched the second plane hit, all the while thinking Bin Laden must be behind the devastation. Eleven years later, Bin Laden can no longer harm us and we have rebuilt Ground Zero into a meditative place where the innocent souls slaughtered in acts of terror - the ghosts of 9-11 - make sure we never forget.
Even in the security of my Boston home, I thought the world was collapsing with the towers. Terrorism gashed a hole in my complacency that has never mended. We're still fighting wars in the aftermath. Perhaps the world I lived in did collapse. There is no peace.The bravery of New Yorkers stands as a testimonial to the greatness of our people. I've never been more proud than when I watched them regroup and rebuild.
I was ten years old and on the other side of the country when I woke to my parents shouting about someone bombing the World Trade Center. I didn't know what those were, and my mom tried to explain they were two tall towers in New York City. We lived in the hills of Los Angeles, overlooking Century City, whose most prominent feature is two tall towers. I reflexively looked out the window, expecting to see them on fire.My dad frantically tried to call his sister, who worked nearby,as we watched the second tower come down. I couldn't even process what I was seeing. It was so clearly real- so clearly not a a movie- but my fifth grade brain still could not understand why someone would fly a plane into a building of innocent people. Especially- as awful as it sounds- innocent AMERICAN people.My aunt was okay. She hadn't gone to work that day. My brother and I went to school as usual, because nobody knew what else to do. Have the class did not show up- most of them had families in New York. We sat in front of the television watching coverage all day, students and teachers and parents mixed together.Every time I see those Century City towers, I remember. How it could have been those towers practically in my backyard- that the WTC was in the backyard of millions of Americans. That they invaded our homes and our safety and peace of mind in a way we'd never experienced before. But I also remember sitting in a large group of people, drawing comfort from each other, and appreciating the heroism of so many people on that day.
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