The world as we know it changed forever on September 11, 2001. Does a day go by where you don't think about 9/11? For me, I often think of that day and remember. Life changed that day, for everyone. It was quite possibly the single most historic day in our lifetime.

8 years ago today... 8 years. Yet, that day feels as clear to me as if it were yesterday. I was at work. I remember the fine details, like the outfit I was wearing, and what I was eating - grapes - when I found out an airplane had crashed into one of the twin towers.

My mom phoned to tell me to turn on CNN. First, it was just one airplane. One plane had crashed into the World Trade Centre. Then, another. And then, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, after some of the passengers onboard tried to overtake the terrorists.

Watching the twin towers collapse on CNN was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. To see this on television took my breath away. The shock, the disbelief, the horror. The fear. I think, at that moment, so many of us felt the same way. A fear that had never been felt on that level before. The unknown... wondering what was to come next. I think above all, in our minds, we were wondering what sort of people could deliberately do such a thing, such a terrible thing, something so unspeakable.

It felt like a horror movie unfolding right before our eyes.

I remember the hurried drive home, hearing stories on the radio change minute by minute - first, planes were heading towards the Parliament buildings, then, an unknown plane was flying over the White House, and so on... everyone was stuck in traffic, just trying to get home to their loves ones, tears flowing freely.

I remember calling my soon-to-be-husband, while he was in school. Happy to hear his voice, to hear that we were going to be okay. I remember all of us meeting at my parents house, still in shock.

The innocent lives that were lost that morning - that's what I think about most often. Every time I board a plane, I think about 9/11. Travelling now with my children, I can't imagine what it must have felt like to be a parent on one of those planes.

I think back to being at Windows on the World with a couple of close friends, enjoying a glass of wine, months before the towers collapsed, in awe of the incredible view.

I remember the frantic calls to family members in D.C., and to my uncle who was in the Middle East, in Jordan, for work.

I remember thinking about a friend who lived in New York City... was he okay? Was he near the World Trade Centre?

I can't imagine the fear the people who were on those planes felt. I can't imagine the absolute desperation people must have felt to have jumped out of a window 80 stories high.

I can't imagine what it must have felt like to be a brave firefighter that day, walking up and up and up, flight after flight, to help rescue people.

And the brave people on board that plane who crashed into a field, instead of into another building - those brave people who were living quite possibly one of their worst nightmares ever - who decided to fight back and avoid further disaster and death - those brave souls, who lost their lives for their country.

And what about all the lives lost in the buildings? Imagine the terror the residents of New York City must have felt that day, and for the days, weeks, and months to come.

I look at this giant poster I bought at IKEA just days after 9/11, hung in our basement, and I remember.

I remember also the people coming together. Kind, decent humans giving, helping, offering food, shelter, water, volunteering. Standing united, proud. Waving their American flags for all to see.

These are the things I often think about when I think back to 9/11/2001. A day that will never, ever be forgotten. A day that changed the world and our way of living in so many ways.

We will never forget. God bless America.
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sharon said...

Beautiful post Loukia - there's nothing more I could add.

becca said...

Beautifully written Loukia. Having been living and working in NYC on 9/11 it is a day that is full of emotion for me and I often wonder how much that day "sticks with" the people who only witnessed it on TV. I know I will shed a few tears today remembering what that day was like for me and I appreciate reading everyone else's recollections of the day too.

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

Beautiful Loukia. My father was working at the Pentagon that day and I was terrified. I also had a friend who worked in the towers and it was 2 days before we heard from her. Very scary moments. Thanks for sharing your memories.

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

Beautiful post...
I think 9/11 is to us what the Kennedy Assassination was to our parents in the US. We will always know exactly where we were or what we were doing when we heard the news.
I only wish the survivors and families are finding peace and happiness.

Mommy Lisa said...

Loukia, that is lovely. Thank goodness for all the people in our lives that we cherish all the more for that tragedy. Something good came from all the bravery in the aftermath.

I was calling a cab to fly to JFK that morning. I had a suitcase and was headed to a meeting with GE and Honeywell - and having dinner with my maid of honor at my hotel in New Jersey later that night.

I did not have a cell phone at the time - yes, seriously - and my girlfriend was watching the planes in horror and desperately calling my home every 30 minutes to be sure I was not on either of the planes.

My brother came to my house and like zombies we watched CNN for hours and hours. He slept on my couch as we waited to hear what happend to a friend who's law firm was located in the towers. He was in court - thankfully.

For a time I worked for American Express and it is scary even today to be up in their tower on Vesey Street and look out at where ground zero is...many people who I got to know well had stories about what it was like to be in NYC that day and the months after.

Nap Warden said...

I'll never forget.

Krystyn said...

What great sentiments. I remember all too well, too. And, we can't forget. The fear, the worry, the anger. All of that.

anya said...

What a beautifully written, heartfelt post. You really captured the feelings I had that day and am reliving and remembering today.
This should be published.

ModernMom said...

I remember holding my toddler in my arms...on top of my very pregnant belly..I was due in two days...crying for all the Mommys, Daddys and babies of the world who had just lost loved ones. Just lost their innocence. Praying for all..

Anonymous said...

I always remember, but the pictures just make everything so vivid...

2 Little Irish Boys said...

Nicely written. Thanks for helping me to remember!

CaraBee said...

That day was surreal. I have never in my life felt the way I did that entire day. And the outpouring of generosity and compassion that followed was just unbelievable. I will never forget. Never.

Elaine A. said...

I was driving to work when I heard about the 1st plane and because I actually worked at the WTC in DALLAS, I thought they were talking about MY building!!

But then things continued to unfold and I realized what terror was happening. I sat at home crying and in complete awe of the events.

Sometimes I still can't believe it all happened. And no, I cannot imagine the feelings of those who were on those planes and in the buildings. My heart aches for them and their loved ones to this day... well forever...

JennyMac said...

Perfect post.

OHmommy said...

I remember being evacuated from the high school I taught at far east of Cleveland. We SAW the last plane turn around in the air. It was so weird. So frightening. I will never forget that, after watching everything else take place on TV beforehand.

MamaJoss said...

Great job with this post...you captured your feelings on that day so well here. You inspired me to write one too, but when it came time to publish, it was just too hard to do. Someday maybe.