Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Remembering September 11th

Each year on September 11th you can hear people discussing where they were when they first heard about the terrorist attacks on America. Just like when President Kennedy was shot, I will never forget what I was doing. As usual on a nice weather day, I had walked with my daughter to her elementary school and returned home. Sitting down at the table to eat breakfast, I turned on our 9" television set to catch the morning news. The Today Show interrupted their newscast to show a plane crashing into the first tower in New York. Like most people, I assumed there was a problem with the plane or that pilot error was involved. When the live footage of the second plane hitting the other tower appeared, I knew that no errors had been made. I immediately called my husband, and followed that with a call to my sister. She was staying in Cincinnati caring for my dad at the time. After they viewed the initial coverage of the planes, my dad ordered her to turn off the television. She was not allowed to watch any more of the events if he was present. Did that bring back memories of WWII for him? I never asked him about it.

On the tenth anniversary (which seems an odd choice of words for a tragedy like this), volunteers in St. Louis placed 2,977 flags on Art Hill in Forest Park - one flag for every person who died in the attacks. On each flagpole was the name and photo of the deceased. It was a sobering and moving sight, a visual representation of how many lives were taken that day.

September 11, 2011
This year at Kirkwood Park local boy scouts installed flags around Walker Lake, one for each first responder who died on 9/11. There were 388 flags. My friend and I headed to the park to take some pictures. Like in Forest Park, each flagpole had the name and photo of the person who died, along with the unit he or she served in and the location of death. Standing in the parking lot as we first arrived, both of us were overcome with emotion at the sense of loss and total injustice of lives cut short. As we walked through the forest of flags, we talked with others along the way about the symbolism of the flags and the display of America's strength and unity. I hope that it brings their families some comfort to know that we haven't forgotten their loved ones, and what they sacrificed for others. Never forget.

September 11, 2015

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

That is poignant about your dad.

"Forest of flags," very good description!

I was overwhelmed by the replica of the Vietnam Wall when it visited the area a few years back.

It was really something to hear the speeches from kids who were born right after 9-11 and had a father who died in the horror. Boo, hoo, hoo in the saddest possible way......