Another Sept. 11, another year of remembering and, for those of us who were alive, reliving what happened in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The memories remain vivid for me. Working at what was then an evening paper, I remember a phone call coming into the newsroom suggesting an editor turn on the TV. An airplane plowed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Looking at the smoldering skyscraper on the TV screen on a shelf overlooking the newsroom, I could only think that terrorism struck the World Trade Center again, just as it did in 1993. No sooner were newscasters on NBC’s “Today Show” discussing the tragedy unfolding that a plane struck the South Tower. Realizing the magnitude of the incident, plans for that day’s front page were scrapped and work began to fill it with stories and photos of the attacks.
So many memories from that day — from working on getting the word out about the attacks on America to watching the news throughout that day and into the night — come floating back every year. Two years ago, my daughter shared my story with her sixth-grade social studies teacher, as he assigned her class the task of interviewing someone about what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. This year, as an eighth-grader, the students were asked to complete the same assignment.
Again, she asked me to share my story, and I did. Gladly. I want my children to know what happened that day. I want them to know that something so tragic actually seemed to unite our country for a time. People prayed, donated to help the victims’ families and the first responders, boosted patriotism and, really, seemed to be just a little more caring and kinder to one another
With the hurricane season hitting hard this year in the Southern states, those actions of kindness, help and prayer seem to be returning. They need to stay well past the phases of helping and rebuilding. They need to help our nation to remain strong and united for a positive future.
Sept. 11, 2001. Never forget.