And I remembered…

As I sat down to write this post, I was fuming, over an unkindness, one of those malicious events that are all too common where children are concerned.  What was it about?  Ignorance.  Blatant stupidity on the part of a parent which dictated the inexcusable behavior of several children towards someone I love dearly.

The rage inside of me was escalating.  I was so ready to blast each of the individuals involved but then stopped.

And I remembered…

Ten years ago today, ignorance, anger and the quest to destroy innocent lives played out in front of our eyes as surreal images stared back from our television screens.  The Twin Towers became a heartbreaking and painful realization for the civilized world who watched, cried, and tried to understand why.  We couldn’t fathom how could anyone be so cruel and have no respect for decent human life, we couldn’t understand the intense hatred against our country.

I won’t try to analyze the mentality of the common terrorist, to do so would be an attempt to make sense of, or even excuse, the psyche and subsequent actions of a murderer.  The anger churned inside my chest as I thought back.  Again, I stopped.

And I remembered…

Ten years ago, I sat with my middle daughter and held my two year old granddaughter as we watched a nightmare unfold; we knew from that point forward our lives would never again be the same.  I looked down at my squirmy, bubbly little grandchild and my heart was overcome with fear for the future she would face.   Her rightful freedoms would now be challenged at every turn, for the rest of her life.   I wept as she looked up at me. 

And I remembered…

Today, on the anniversary of this horrific event, my husband’s club held a yearly camping event for its members and children; something that is always planned around 9/11.  Families and friends gather to enjoy quality time together and thank God that we are able to do this, that we are alive and together.  Some of the kids who attended were toddlers or just entering school ten years ago, they were insulated from the pain that we witnessed.  Last evening, the children ran around club grounds, playing and having fun while the adults sat around the bonfire and recalled, once again, where they were on that fateful day ten years ago.

Early this morning, I prepared breakfast for everyone and a group of teens gathered in the clubhouse as Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” played on the radio.  I listened to the kids as they talked and one asked me where I was that day and what it felt like as I heard the news.  Another boy explained that his parents didn’t talk about it much, what he learned about 9/11 was through conversations in school, on the Internet and television.   So I sat down with them and shared my experience of that September day,  how I drove into work, more focused on the car radio than the trip itself, one hand on my cell phone talking to my husband about his only brother who was at Five World Trade Center. 

Immediately, the boys wanted to know if he made it out alive.  I told them that he did but we didn’t know that fact until hours later; my brother-in-law somehow managed to walk away from the collapsing towers, for more than 16 miles, to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where he was found, sitting in a state of shock.   The boys around the table just shook their heads and almost all asked at once if I thought the United States would ever be attacked again. 

How do you properly address those fears?  How can you assure anyone that they will be safe from any type of disaster?  All I could say to these boys was that there are no simple answers other than to trust that our government will exhaust every means of security to keep us from harm and to preserve our freedoms.  The hatred and jealousies of outsiders cannot be stopped but we must never allow ourselves to succumb to the bullying tactics of such militant extremists.

This morning, I was angry over a petty childhood incident.  It doesn’t matter now and those involved aren’t worth losing sleep over.  This morning, a small group of young people made me realize things that truly are significant; they reminded me of the importance of this day.

And, with them, I remembered.





  1. bachiles says:

    I think that you have come to a great conclusion about what is worth pursuing and what is best just left alone. The hatred in our world can be so overwhelming at times and it is hard to not succumb to it at times when there are things that seem so unjust. Like the attacks of 9/11. How do we move on past that? It sure seems that a small group of people helped you to come to your own conclusion and maybe allowed you to deal with the issue at hand a little bit better. We will most likely never live in a world where everything is just but by trying to live peacefully in our own corner of the world maybe we can make a difference. Good on you for sharing this today and for taking the high road that may have been more difficult! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Patty says:

      Sometimes we just get so caught up in meaningless trivialities, I know that I do, on a daily basis and especially when it comes to my family. Just an overly protective Mother/Grandmother Hen, I'd guess.

      We try so hard to live a better way while teaching our youngsters to do the same. It's a big job when faced with so much indifference and intolerance. I always think of these favorite lyrics…."Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me".

      If only…

  2. Meri says:

    It's sad that it can take such a tragedy to remind us not to forget what's really important. Nice reflection on this post.

    • Patty says:

      I agree with you Meri…why any tragedy to remind us of our own mortality and to reflect on living a humane life?

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. May says:

    I am glad you were able to use the day to gain some perspective and maybe lay an issue to rest. That was the silver lining to such an ugly cloud 10 yrs ago. Differences were put aside. It makes me extremely sad now that differences are used more than ever to keep segments of our population at odds with one another.

  4. Patty says:

    Honestly May, where children are concerned, there will always be issues. We all know children learn what they live and when they are raised with intolerance and hatred, perceived differences in a neighborhood, school and beyond, will never disappear.

  5. doreen says:

    I have been tested a lot lately; so many bully's; little ones and [the worst kind] grown-up ones. We can just do our best to be good examples…

    • Patty says:

      With respect to little bully's, does it really ever change, Doreen? I can recall so many incidents when I was a child but I don't remember them being as cruel and torturous as what I see today with young people. These children aren't born this way, it's a learned behavior, usually in the home. Too many parents who feel their children do no wrong and everyone else is at fault.

      Regarding the grown-up variety…they start out as I mentioned above and grow into reprehensible adults who enjoy hurting others.

      But, I agree with you, in spite of this insanity, those of us who can, must continue to do the right thing. Thanks for stopping-by!

  6. dweej says:

    Oh, his only brother barely escaping the towers hit me right in the gut, Patty. Hugs!

    • Patty says:

      The horrors of that day touched everyone, in one way or another, Dweej; those who had hearts, anyway.

      My brother-in-law was lucky; it was the second time he escaped a terrorist attack at the WTC. On the morning of 9/11/01, he was headed up to the North Tower and the Windows on the World restaurant with his staff but was delayed by a call in his government offices. That call saved his life along with his staff members.

      He retired immediately after.

  7. Wow Patty. This is so moving. It is so good to remember, even if it is painful. Keeps those memories alive and keeps them important. Thanks for sharing this. I can't imagine what it was like to be there in NYC 10 years ago.

    • Patty says:

      I doubt if, in our lifetime, we'll ever forget! Our lives have been permanently compromised now because of these militant, cold-blooded murderers and, in a way, it's our fault. We let our guard down, we got too comfortable with the freedoms in this country.

      It's been a terribly hard lesson learned and I pray that future generations will never face this kind of evil again.

  8. Sandra D. says:

    We and the people of The United Stated should never forget this horrible day. I know I never will. We must all stand together and take care of each other, love one another, and respect each other.

    • Patty says:

      All I can still envision are the people holding hands as they jumped from the towers. For those few hours, the muslim radicals involved certainly gloated over their actions in planning that horrible day but they never figured on good old USA payback from that point forward.

      We'll stand together, watch out for each other and all the rest but will never, ever stop looking over our shoulders. Life will never be the same but…. we will be ready.

  9. katieross83 says:

    Great post, Patty. One of the best I've read on 9/11. You remembered the things that are most important to remember. Glad your brother-in-law made it out safely.

  10. Patty says:

    So hard to forget, Katie.

    I managed to shelve the nonsense for this day and give respect and prayers for all who suffered so on 9/11.

    Thank you!

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