Remembering 9/11

For the past few days I have had a small cloud overhead as I thought about today - the six year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks - an event that has truly changed all of our lives. Since I am so terrible at keeping a journal, I'm certain that I have never recorded my life that day. Each year as September 11th approaches, I think to myself that I really need to write down my thoughts and feelings about that day, and each year September 11th comes and goes with no written record. So, this is the year. This was such a significant day in our lives. Our children and grandchildren will learn about it and ask us to tell them about it and I'm not putting a lot of faith in my memory!

In September 2001, I was working for a small start-up company, CopiersNow, that sold and serviced office equipment. A friend from BYU, and Ernst & Young, left E&Y to work there and ended up recruiting me there. Not a hard sell, considering I was just finishing up my 3rd busy season at E&Y and had been pulling 100+hour weeks! (BTW - 120 was my record and yes, there are that many hours in a week!)

After a few months of doing really boring stuff in Accounting, they had a need for an IT Project manager and asked if I would want to make the change. I happily changed roles and was really enjoying the challenge of something entirely new.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I drove the ten minute drive to work in silence. For some reason the radio was turned off, which was extremely rare - I ALWAYS had music on, and I was so preoccupied with thoughts of work, I didn't even notice that I was driving in silence. I remember arriving at work, shortly before 8:00am, completely oblivious to the unfathomable events that had already occurred that morning. As soon as I opened the door to the office, I knew something was going on. The few people that were already there were huddled around a small tv. I remember watching and listening with unbelief, but it was nothing compared to watching the first tower collapse just a few moments later. Then seeing the second one crumble a short time later and just watching it be replayed over and over again on the news. It was all so surreal - I kind of felt numb. Most of us stayed around the tv for the majority of the work day. A few times I left to try and get some work done but couldn't think of anything else but the attacks. They should have just sent us all home because no one got any work done. I remember feeling so small and vulnerable and afraid . It was the first time in my life I have ever even thought about feeling safe within the borders of my country - Canada or US.

When I got home, Jeramy was already home because his company shut down early and sent every one home to be with their families. We just sat in front of the tv the rest of the afternoon and evening trying to take it all in - the sadness and grief for those whose lives, or loved ones, were taken; the fear of feeling, for the first time, the effects of terrorism; the anger and disbelief that people could plan and execute such atrocities; the joy and pride for the many, many heroes who emerged in the midst of the worst of circumstances and the patriotism felt by a country uniting to stand strong.

As time has passed, it has also dulled many of the emotions and has hopefully helped to heal so many of the wounds inflicted that day. For me, remembering 9/11 is not just about what was lost but what has been gained. To me, 9/11 represents faith, freedom, patriotism, perseverance, service and love. I have gained a greater appreciation of what a blessing it is to live in this country (and Canada), for the freedoms we are afforded and the people we are united with.


Gomez said...

That was really great Tam...very well said in the last paragraph. I remember I had only been back to work for three weeks from materinty leave with Emerson. All day long I just wanted to leave work and go home and hold her...It was a day of pure fear and caos. But I love what you said in your last paragraph.

Emily said...

I agree. Your last paragraph sums up so much of what I think we all are experiencing and feeling since Sept.11th. Thanks.

Marilee said...

Such a nice tribute Tam. What a great idea to record the events that occured that day and how you felt! Every 9/11 I think about where I was when I heard and the same saddness and grief washes over me all over. I wish our country would do a better job at remembering...the love we all felt for eachother and even more so the bond and unity we had that day! Such a tragic tragic day. It's so important for us to remember...not just on 9/11 but every day and maybe we'll bring back some of the unity!