Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remember 9/11

On September 10, 2001, the evening news had a lead story about two pekingese dogs waiting for their master to come home from work.   Parke turned to me and said "I guess it is a slow news night."  We did know what would be happening the next day.

I can't believe that ten years has passed since that terrible day.  I remember it well.  I was at work, and my bff Cathy called. "Bev " she said "the World Trade Center has been hit by an airplane."   I was shocked, I couldn't comprehend what she was telling me, I turned to Oliver who I worked with at the time and told him, he was trying to look on CNN but there wasn't anything there yet.  The next thing she told me was that another Tower was hit by a plane.  She was watching Good Morning America  and they didn't really know what was happening, they were showing you live what was going on. 

My first words were is Missy okay.  That's Cathy's niece and my daughter-in-law's sister.  Cathy assured me that she didn't work anywhere near the World Trade Center.  But we found out different a little later, Missy indeed was there, had just gotten out of the subway after the first plane hit and saw the second plane.  She did make it to safety and after a long day of travel made it home to her apartment. 

At work, we could only hear it on the radio, we did get some images from CNN, but the internet was bogged down just like the phone lines.  I couldn't  reach my son or daughter-in-law, they lived outside of DC in Virginia.  I heard from them late in the day and found out that they were safe.

They day seemed endless at work, the radio was reporting about the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.  I was so overcome with emotion I went out to another bff, Annette, with whom I have worked with for 33 years now.  I looked at her, she looked at me and we started to cry and hug each other.  We didn't know what to think, we didn't know what was going on, there was a lot of speculation and it was not until I got home and could watch it on TV that I fully understood what was happening. 

I called my Pastor at the time and asked if we could open the Church, I felt like I needed to be in the safety of my church's sanctuary even if it was for quiet prayer.  She wasn't certain people would come, I made a few phone calls and that night our church was full.  I guess I lot of people felt like I did.  I even remember the neighbor across the street calling over to me and saying are you having a service and I said, "Yes" and she came right over.  Catasauqua came together as a community while Americans came together all across the United States that night and many nights after to pray.   We came together as a Nation that day, we held hands with each other and we were proud to be Americas.  The American Flag flew from everywhere you looked.

It wasn't until one year later, when I took the day off and watched Good Morning America replay what had happened a year earlier did I understand what Cathy was watching and trying to explain to me.

I get emotional when I think about 9/11, I didn't loose anybody and for that I am grateful, but it still left a whole in my heart.  I love Catasauqua, but I also love New York and had been there dozens of times for the Letterman Show and the taping of the View.  I have seen Broadway Shows, been to the top of the Empire State Building and been in the World Trade Center.  I've seen the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island where my grandfather's family came to America.

I think in Catty as well as in many towns across America, we take our Freedom for granted.  We don't fight wars here on our soil.  We have the freedom to do as we please as long as it is within the law and that day a little piece of our freedom was taken from us.  We grew up a little, our innocence was taken away, civilians not soldiers died that day.  Fireman and Policeman were in the front lines, many of them loosing their lives in the process, protecting the people they are sworn to protect. Real heroes. Real American Heroes.

I found myself wishing that the biggest news on TV would be those two pekingese again
From the song Proud to be an American -

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

and with that it's......another day in Catasauqua