A Day to Remember

I am taking time to remember that day

In early 2001, Downtown Sacramento the assembly had adjourned and my sister was heading home.  She was on her way to her car with her boss, I believe they were getting ready to cross the street when a gentleman in a semi truck allowed them to cross, they crossed the street safely, and he then proceeded to ram his truck into the south side of the Capitol building he died instantly no one else was hurt & I don't think they ever found out why he did what he did.

8 Months later ....

I am working at a curriculum architecture firm in downtown Naperville, IL, it was early in the morning we had just settled in, drinking our coffee & hot coco one of my good friends called me over to her computer she was streaming the BBC live (yes BBC streamed live back then, only 1 channel not the million they have now) she didn't say a word I think she was in shock the live feed was streaming the World Trade Center, at this point were getting a faster feed than the news reports on the radios so several co-workers had ditched their radios and walked over to watch, pretty soon the whole office is behind us watching the live stream, when more reports started to come in, I just freaked out remembering what happened early in the year with the semi-truck I tried to get a hold of my sister, but I could not, the lines out were tied up due to people trying to call out, I don't know how many times I tried a call her but I remember a co-worker knew someone who worked in one of the towers she was trying to call but she then gave up and walked around gathering people, standing in the middle of the room hand in hand, people of all religions, and even those that did not believe held hands and prayed.

I never felt so sad, so scared, so far away from home and yet so connected with so many people at once, we eventually got through it, I got a hold of my sister I told her "get out of that government building, were being attacked",  (hey I had no idea what the heck was going on) and my co-worker got a hold of her friend the following day and found out he was very late to work due to an appointment and when he got to the building it had already been hit and he never entered the building.

The next day a few of my friends and I took time off work and went to the city hall for a ceremony it was right across the river from our work, we held hands with strangers and prayed.  We put flags in the grass to honor the lives of those that had passed, I remember walking across the bridge and looking back at the flags, and just this horrible feeling of loss, and knowing that so many people were out there not knowing where a loved one might be, that there were those alive and trapped, heart breaking.

We stood here & prayed, later in 2003 this memorial was placed, it was one of the first memorials in America to be placed.  The memorial takes its theme from an article written by Commander Shanower entitled "Freedom Isn't Free." In it, he wrote: "Those of us in the military are expected to make the ultimate sacrifice when called. The military loses scores of personnel each year. Each one risked and lost his or her life in something they believed in, leaving behind friends, family and shipmates to bear the burden and celebrate their devotion to our country...Freedom isn't free." 

I will never forget September 11th and the days following.  So many loved people were lost that day, and so many in the war proceeding the events of 9-11 have been lost.  Please take time today to remember that day and honor those lost.


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