Elisa's Daily Scoop
Well today is always a very somber day for me - a day of reflection and prayer, remembering the tragic events that took place on this day 15 years ago.
It's hard to conceive that "9-11" happened that long ago. Because of the surreal nature of that day and the days, weeks and months that followed, it still feels as if it just happened yesterday.
Like many days that live in infamy in history - and each generation has their own life-altering event - it's hard to forget where I was on September 11, 2001.
Our entire nation was blindsided and beyond in shock and horror. Across the land and the world, headlines screamed out with the terror attacks that took down the Twin Towers, Struck the Pentagon and the flights on which hundreds perished.
There really are no words.
For me, it was a day that started off like any other. As a matter of fact, in New York, it was a gorgeous, sunny Tuesday.
I was starting my day like any other, doing some laundry and straightening the house after saying goodbye to my then-husband, Tedd.
We were still in the midst of decorating our home and I was awaiting the installer to hang some window treatments in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
While flitting around the house, I got a call from my mother-in-law, who was in hysterics. I couldn't quite make out what she was saying, and I was quite frustrated. But, what I did get out of it was that "it's all over the news" so I decided to go in my den and turn on the television.
When I put the TV on, I saw that one of the Twin Towers had been crashed into by a plane and there was a massive fire. As I was watching, within a few minutes, another plane hit the other Tower and the newscasters were now speculating that this was no accident but that "they are doing this on purpose."
At this point, I felt my heart begin to pound a little harder and I went inside to call Tedd. As it turns out, he had only heard of the first plane crashing and when I told him there was another, he was pretty speechless. But, as I was talking and watching the news, they announced that the Pentagon had just been hit as well.
When I told Tedd this, we both became a bit panicked. The reports were coming in that another plan was on course for the White House and possibly The Capitol building.
In those few moments, I felt like the world stopped and that what was happening was not happening and there was a kind of paralyzed fear that "this could be it."
The thing that really stands out about this day, unfortunately, was that I had wanted my husband to come home immediately and be with me, but he insisted he had to stay at the office (which is about a mile from our home). I kept thinking, the whole world is falling apart and he doesn't want to be with me. I don't think I ever got over that.
In any case, by this time, the installer (who had become somewhat of a familiar acquaintance as we had been decorating our 18-room turn of the century home for the past two years) had arrived.
He hadn't heard a thing about the events and was pretty bewildered. I invited him into the den where I had CNN on and I was glued to the screen.
As we were watching the two towers burn; watching the account of what was happening with "rescue" efforts; split screen of the pentagon; being bombarded with Flight 93 in Pennsylvania going down in a field and the non-stop flow of information berating us...we watched in horror as the first Tower collapsed.
It just didn't feel real. It was like watching a movie. Then soon after, the second tower collapsed and the rest of the day became like a succession of one traumatic piece of information after the next.
From a little after 9am straight through till after midnight on Tuesday September 11, 2001, I sat glued, wide-eyed and in shock at my television screen.
There was an eery quiet that came the area later that evening - the airways had been closed so there were no planes flying overhead, except for the occasional sonic booms of the fighter jets patrolling the coastline. Everything sort of Stopped - radio programming, television programming - life in general. Mostly, any sense of innocence and naiveté was gone from the American way of life.
The mentality that we were "safe" from terror and being violently hit on our soil was now a thing of the past. It was a turning point in our country and the world, in general. But, for Americans, our way of life was forever changed and as New Yorkers, we were devastated and permanently scarred.
That night, 80 individuals never came home to my Long Island town; 100 never came home to my sister's town and there were thousands more - they had gone to work, boarded planes, began their day like any other sunny weekday, never to return to their wives, husbands, children, mothers, fathers, family member and friends. Just like that.
That night, I watched with an unending stream of tears as the world payed tribute to our American tragedy. For days and weeks, the smell of burning metal permeated as far as eastern Long Island. Many, like myself refused to go down to Ground Zero in the days, weeks, months and even years that followed.
As a native New Yorker, it hit too close to home. To me and others like me, it was a massive grave.
New York Rebuilds and Is a Shining Beacon of Strength and Hope...
I finally decided to go down to the former home of the World Trade Center Towers in the Fall of 2014, after the completed construction of the Freedom Tower and the Reflecting pools.
It was not easy and I wound up crying and feeling the sorrow of that fateful day as I eyed every name of the victims killed on September 11, 2001 carved into the perimeter of each of the reflecting pools.
It was not easy to watch the hundreds and hundreds of people taking pictures and posing with smiles. I couldn't smile and only took photos of the area - I didn't want to pose or smile.
In September 2015, I finally ventured down to "Ground Zero" with a different feeling. A feeling of hope about the strength and resilience of New Yorkers and the American people. And this time, I wanted to see the Freedom Tower.
I was ready to take pride in this new tower and the respectful design and atmosphere of the reflecting pools and the 9/11 Tributes.
Enough time had passed that I was ready to go pay my respects and feel proud of how we as New Yorkers had come through.
So, I took a trip downtown with my Aunt Ro with a more open mind and enthusiasm to see the new Freedom Tower.
Here is what I wrote about my visit in my September 23, 2015 Blog:
Going to the top of the Tower was a very empowering experience. Seeing the views of the great city of New York with Lady Liberty in the harbor really filled me with joy.
I just didn't feel emotionally ready to go on a trip down memory lane of all the horror of that day by re-living it all in the Museum. I wanted to end my day on a high note, to quote a friend of mine, and let the that feeling stay with me.
Perhaps one day I'll go into the museum, but yesterday was not the day.
Today, I send out prayers to all of the victims and their families and our entire country.
God Bless America!
Alone in my bed
The world fast asleep
I shake and I shudder
I begin to just weep
Through unspeakable acts
My world has been shaken
My country attacked
My brothers' lives taken.
Disbelievingly, I watched
My Twin Towers collapse
A hole in my Pentagon
Its reality I can't grasp.
Alone in my thoughts
My mind wanders: I hear
Last words and goodbyes
Their strength and their tears
It could have been me
It could have been mine
Their ives have been changed
In a fraction of time.
Alone in my grief
Unable to bear
The heartbreak and horror
I'm stiffened with fear
Will another strike come?
Will they target again?
Will I ever fee safe,
To be an American?
Alone in my prayers
Oh Lord, help me heal
Take away my sadness
And cope with all I feel
Stop the endless pictures
Of the tragedy that day
Grant me peace of mind
To live the American way
-written by Elisa
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