Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Remembered

I remember the day vividly. Our morning consisted of watching The Wiggles on TV as Sarah prepared for her first day of preschool. I was going to fly down to NYC that morning but I put it off until the afternoon so I could be with Sarah for this milestone.
My father was staying at my aunts house in Lynbrook, Long Island while he commuted to Sloan Kettering in Manhattan for his cancer treatment. He was in a clinical trial for Esophageal Cancer after surgery unsuccessfully contained it from spreading.
Sue and I dropped Sarah off at the YMCA preschool program and then headed down to the Post Office in Canandaigua with a quick stop at Burger King for breakfast. We heard a few people murmuring about a plane crash but didn't think much of it. At the post office the employees were talking more about it and we heard a plane had hit one of the twin towers.
It was hard to believe, so we rushed back to the car and turned on the radio only to find out this was no accident with the second plane hitting the South Tower.
I had an appointment at the studio which I half heartedly completed before rushing home. Back in the car I listened in shock as the North Tower fell. The next 36 hours were a blur as we sat glued to the TV. My trip to NYC was obviously cancelled.
While all this was going on in the uncertain safety of Canandaigua, my mother and father were on their way in to Manhattan for one of his treatments and to find out the results of his most recent Cat Scan. On the train in, they could see the smoke from the towers looming over head. They arrived in Penn Station and switched from the Long Island Rail Road to the subway, only to have that shut down after one stop. They had to walk the rest of the way to Sloan Kettering on the streets. As they walked, people began gasping in horror and as they turned around, they could see the North Tower come down.
When they finally made it to Sloan Kettering, they were seen and dealt the news that would forever change their world. The treatment was not working and he was out of the program.
September 11, 2001 was not only one of the darkest days in our country's history, it was also the day my father was given his death sentence.

Now, ten years later, the wounds have healed as a country and as a family, but the scars are deep. It doesn't take much to bring the emotion flooding back. Seeing the country come together today both locally and nationally lets me know that I'm not alone. I spent the morning with my family watching the news coverage of the events of today and ten years ago. My kids were either too young or not even born yet when our world changed, so they sat riveted to the TV trying to grasp the magnitude of what took place. For ten years they have heard about it and learned about it with each passing anniversary. I don't know if it's a sign of them maturing or the increased awareness with such a big anniversary, but I think it sunk in today. My daughter posted on her Facebook page today, "It has been 10 years. And although I was very young, I will never stop praying for the people who risked their lives and the families who lost loved ones that day. It was a hard day on my family and many others. We will remember you always♥"

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