To say it's unbelievable that its been 18 years is an understatement. I remember so clearly that day.
I always had the early morning news shows on as we got up and had breakfast. The show was almost over when the hosts announced that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, and were talking about how strange that was due to flight patterns, and discussing that it must be a small plane.
Footage of the tower showed smoke billowing out, and as the early morning show was signing off, I headed to the kitchen for a drink before I began to read to the kids to start our school day.
My oldest son Nate, age 12 at the time, called to me, "Mom! Another plane just hit the other tower!" I knew in the second that this was deliberate and that something life changing was happening.
School plans out the window that day, I watched the coverage all day, spoke to my husband at work. We watched, though the kids mostly played that day, as all flights were grounded. Living in an area where we could see lots of planes flying daily, it was eerie to go outside and see empty skies.
A plane crashed into the Pentagon, and we wondered what next. Then Flight 93 crashed into farmland here in Pennsylvania.
Horrific scenes that day, as people jumped out of the towers rather than be burned to death. The towers fell and so many emergency responders died, along with people trapped in the towers.
We have a friend who was a NYC firefighter. His station was called to respond to the attack on the towers, but it was his day off. He was, of course, immediately called in after the towers fell and worked at the scene.
Over the days and then weeks after the attacks we learned more stories. We saw thousands of photos of people missing who were working in the towers, we wept along with our nation.
In those days after the attacks Americans were unified. Sad to see what has happened in the years since then.
In thinking about the anniversary, I realized that I want to spend some time with my youngest kids today to talk about it. Rachel was only two years old when it happened and Sarah and Kyle were not born yet. We may watch a documentary about it.
I want them to know about it. Those of us who were old enough to remember, will always remember the details, and how shocked we all were.
I want my kids to be aware that hate leads to destruction. I want them to have this in mind as they grow into adulthood, and to learn to love, to choose forgiveness, rather than let even real unjustices feed hate. I want them to see people as people not the color of their skin or their religion. I want them to be good neighbors and friends to others.
On September 11, 2001 hatred lead to destruction on a massive scale. Lives were changed. Hurt and pain and loss that people will never get over.
Hatred still reigns in a lot of places in the world, even in some places here in the USA. But individually we can choose love. That's what I've chosen. What about you?