Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Week No Planes Flew

There are days in our lives that we will never forget. The 9th day of September 2001was one of those days. We remember exactly where we were when we first heard about the planes flying into the Twin Towers. Some of us were watching the news when that second plane crashed into the second tower. Even more of us were watching when the buildings collapsed.

And we knew, as we stood transfixed in front of our televisions, that people were dying. Firemen had run into the buildings to rescue people and lost their lives in that horrible moment when the buildings came down. There were still rescues, miracles of survival, but there were also many who were not rescued. And we watched and thought of how our world was forever changed. Then we prayed. We held hands and looked to the Lord for help, for comfort, for hope for the days to follow.

I was at home - probably trying to write something, but I really don't remember that. I do remember my daughter-in-law calling me and telling me to turn on the television since she knew I probably wouldn't have the t.v. or radio on.  I saw the replays of the plane hitting the building over and over and I saw the towers collapse. Even thinking about it now ten years later, my heart grows heavy with the memory. 

There were other memories in the days that followed. It was the week of the National Quartet Convention then the same as now, and we went on to Louisville to the Fairgrounds where the convention was going on. But it was strange. Nobody knew what to do. Should they continue on? Should they just call everything off and send everybody home? In the end, they continued their program with tributes and prayers and patriotic speeches, but there was a surreal feeling to it all. What were we doing? And why?

The fairgrounds is next to the airport in Louisville where there is a busy UPS hub. I remember how very odd it felt with no planes taking off or landing. Normally a plane would be going over every few minutes. But the rest of that week, all planes were grounded. The skies seemed too empty. And, with our innocence lost, we waited and worried about what might happen next. We still wait and worry. 

Now we know what can happen. We remember those first responders - the firemen and police officers. We remember our soldiers who volunteer to protect our country and way of life. And we remember those who have given their all in service of our country. Our little town of Lawrenceburg, KY has a beautiful memorial to our soldiers called the "Healing Field." It's a moving memorial with flags to represent soldiers who have given their lives for our country.

And so we remember.

6 comments:

  1. I never knew about "The Healing Field" I am going to make it a point to visit there. Thanks Ann, You worded this tribute beautifully.

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  2. I know what you mean about the silence, because the lack of flights was noticeable. The big difference for us was that we live in the flight path of Selfridge Air Nationsl Guard base in Michigan. On 9/11 my wife mentioned how many military jets she heard going over our house. Incidentally I was thinking about that on Sunday, when I suddenly heard that sound again. Turns out a flight to Detroit had some questionable activity on it, and called out the jets for an escort. Im happy to say it turned out to be nothing, but it sure was a bad flashback for a while!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your 911 story, and I'm very sure most of us know what we were doing and where we were when we found out we were being attacked. I've yet to read words that can describe how i feel about it in my gut, so its one of those events for me that requires a quiet reflection. Richard

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  4. Kevin, that must have been a scary flashback - hearing those jets taking off. It would have been unnerving to be on the plane and look out to see the jets coming to escort the plane as well. We live in a different world than the one before 9/11 just as in the past, other events changed things forever like the bombing of Pearl Harbor that sent us to war in the forties.

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  5. Richard, you're so right in that sometimes it's hard to find the right words. Quiet reflection sounds like the best way for most of us to remember. But we will never forget.

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  6. Thanks, Lisa. I'm like Richard in that words can't truly express how you feel when you remember 9/11. But I do remember, and I'm a writer. So I try. I hope you get a chance to visit the memorial here in Anderson County. It's very moving to see all the flags and the names of the veterans on the wall.

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.