Tuesday, September 11, 2012

[Life] A Day of Remembrance

(Quick update on the puppies I wrote about Sunday: of the 9, 7 of them are now on oral medications only, which is fantastic! Continued support is needed for the last 2, though, and I'll update as needed).


I debated blogging about this because I don't doubt that everyone will be blogging about it today: the anniversary of September 11th. I just didn't think it could go by unmentioned, though I'm going to keep this short and to the point.

On September 11th, 2001, I was a junior at the University of Pittsburgh and living in the Delta Zeta sorority house. I was laying on the L couch watching the Wonder Years, procrastinating on getting ready for my 10am class when one of my housemates/sisters, Megan, came in to the living room from her 8am class right before 9am and said "Turn on the news. The Twin Towers were hit by a plane."

We turned the channel just in time to see the second plane hit. As my sisters one by one woke up to the news, the living room became more and more crowded until the 17 of us that lived in the house, plus a smattering of sisters who lived off campus, were all plunked in front of the tv. And many of us stayed there for the duration of the day.

Shanksville, PA, where the last plane came down, is about 60 miles from Pittsburgh. The university shut down for the day by 11am. The city center was evacuated, along with a number of tall buildings in other areas of the city. The phone networks were shot. Most of Pittsburgh's cell coverage falls in the same region as NYC's. We couldn't get ahold of anyone - friends, family. A number of students were from NYC, and an even larger number of us from the 60 mile radius around the city. It was a scary time.

Growing up so close to New York City, I'd come to view the iconic towers as my welcome to the city. The bridge we always took into Manhattan offered the most beautiful view of them, especially in the early hours of the morning. Over the years, I'd gone back - the last time was in 2009. And every time I'd see the memorial posters, I'd cry. It was such an emotional thing to see, especially because for so many years it was just a gaping hole. I'm hoping to get back again soon, and see the area rebuilt and thriving.

This "cross" was left standing after the towers fell - it was part of the structure one of the towers. Gives me chills.

I'd like to take a moment, on the anniversary of this defining moment for our country, to say a prayer for those whose lives were lost, and for the families they left behind; for the policemen and firefighters who responded that day; for those who have fought ever since to protect our rights as Americans and preserve the safety of our home. Each and every sacrifice that has been made has not been made in vain. You are always in our hearts.

Where were you?

(The pictures in this post are from a visit in 2005.)


  1. I was in high school in earth science class. classes had just changed and i walked into class and the tv was on after the first plane hit. we watched the second plane hit and that's when i knew this was no accident. i know i'll never forget it.

  2. I was a freshman in college. I was taking a nap after my early class when my friend from down the hall banged on my door crying saying "the skyline is gone." I didn't understand. She turned on the tv and minutes later the second plane hit. Years later after 9/11 I became a New Yorker myself. Not a day went by living there when I didn't think about 9/11 and terrorism.

    The Tiny Heart

  3. I was also in college. A senior. I was asleep when my roommate's mom called to tell me to get up and turn on the tv. I stood in our living room with my mouth hanging open. I had to go to work later that day. I worked at the university police department. So many parents calling to find out if we were taking any extra precautions. In our small town in Ohio life went on as usual...but with an eerie silence. My mom was supposed to fly to England the next day. I called her in tears begging her not to go. Obviously, she didn't since all the planes were grounded.

    I was in NYC for the first time this March and I went to the memorial. It's so beautiful and awe-inspiring. My best friend was working on a project for the new Tower 1 so she got a behind-the-scenes tour and shared everything with me. My heart broke all over again but I was cheered by the resilience of the city and the people all around me.

  4. Ahh.. what a lovely and thoughtful post. So beautifully written and I love the pictures.


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