Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Will Never Forget

September 11, 2001. It is a day that I will never forget. 

I will never forget the sound of my mother's voice when she called me at work telling me that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

I will never forget feeling grateful that my father had been laid off from work a few weeks before. My father worked blocks away from the World Trade Center.

I will never forget feeling grateful that I decided against going downtown to school that morning to purchase my school books. The building of one of my classes was completely destroyed. 

I will never forget when I called The Husband (who was The Boyfriend) and as he turned on the news watching what was happening in the City, he said "you have to leave work right now." Even though I was working in midtown there was so much uncertainty. 

I will never forget rushing out of my office, walking out into the street. The looks on people's faces - frantic, worried, crying, shock.

I will never forget walking home. All the way to The Bronx. Walking with hundreds. All the time, wondering - why.

I will never forget watching the news, crying as the towers collapsed.

I will never forget hearing the accounts of people who were there. Seeing the panic, horror, grief and disbelief. Or the pleas from family members and friends looking for their loved ones. Hoping against hope that they were still alive - somewhere.  

I couldn't sleep that night. Or for many nights after.

I feel fortunate that I lost no loved ones that day. But I cried for all those that did. 

And I cried for my own sense of loss. 

War. Such acts of hateful violence and mass murder against the innocent was something that belonged to another generation.  And now it belonged to mine.

As I am watching the news, watching the coverage of the Memorials taking place throughout the day. I am remembering the feeling I felt that morning 11 years ago - before downtown Manhattan became Ground Zero.

It was the start of a beautiful September day and I remember feeling hopeful and loved.

And in spite of living in world of war, I am hopeful. 

I am in awe of the resilience of the City I was born and raised.  

Because on that day 11 years ago, I saw men and women give their lives willingly to save another. I saw the kind of bravery and heroism myths are made of. I saw a side of humanity, I had never seen before and it was inspiring. I honor all those men and women. And I honor and remember the family and friends they left behind.

Remembering the beauty of The World Trade Center - click HERE  

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.