Greetings to my pen and paper lovers,
I hope you enjoyed this summer and are looking forward to the upcoming fall and winter seasons. As a change of pace from my usual blog posts, I wanted to take this moment to reflect on the tragedy of September 11th, an unforgettable event that changed the world forever. Those of us who experienced it in some way, shape, or form, will never forget that day and how many lives were lost, who left us way too soon.
Every one of us remembers what we were doing that day. I happened to be asleep when my then boyfriend at the time called me from his workplace to tell me there was a terrorist attack. He didn't have time to explain further and hung up.
When I turned on the TV, the first image I saw was of people running from the huge dust cloud. I was half asleep so I thought something happened in Downtown LA, not far from where I lived at the time. Then I watched in horror as the replay of the plane that hit the World Trade Center came across the screen. I screamed and cried, instantly afraid, knowing at that moment we were at war.
I was glued to the TV as the aftermath of all the horrific events happened until I had to go my job at the Glendale Galleria. I rode the bus and it was almost empty. The streets were practically deserted. When I arrived at the mall, many of the stores were closed. It was shocking to see the normally busy mall so empty, like the world had ended. There were only a few people in the food court who were talking quietly. I headed into work and tried to concentrate on my job, but I couldn't. I kept thinking of everything I saw on the news and the people who had to choose between dying in a fire or taking their lives in their own hands to jump.
Finally, the store manager decided we could close up early. My boyfriend picked me up and we headed home. We watched news coverage until 2 a.m. For the whole week there was nothing on TV except that. Two days later on September 13th, we went to the Madonna concert at Staples Center. She decided not to cancel. There was a heavy security presence when we went into the stadium. In her opening number she wore an American flag kilt. The concert was so amazing - it took our minds off what was happening in the world for a bit. For the next few months I saw people of all walks of life united, American flags everywhere, banding together to show the terrorists that our spirit wouldn't be broken. Love was stronger than hate.
Here are two music videos that came out shortly after 9/11 that I watch every year. One is "Walk On" by U2 that showed how Americans came together to help the recovery efforts at Ground Zero. The second one is "Freedom" by Paul McCartney from "The Concert For New York", a benefit that raised funds for 9/11 victims. He also visited the different fire houses in New York City.
Today we remember those who survived the attacks, the ones who have passed on, and the first responders. In the face of tremendous pain and grief, you will always be heroes to us.