I still remember the scenes from September 11, 2001. At the time, I think most of us were in too much of a shock to comprehend what had really happened. Words can never adequately express the feelings I experienced on that day and the many days that followed in NYC as I watched the city rebuild.
Two months after the September 11th attacks I wrote a poem. I kept it tucked away in a drawer for many years. I’ve decided to share it with you this year in remembrance of 9/11.
I am also posting a TED talk given by Jake Barton where he gives some details about the 9/11 Memorial Museum that will be opening next year at ground zero. He also discusses some of his other museum projects.
A third of the world watched live as the World Trade Center Towers collapsed on September 11th. A third more heard about it within twenty-four hours.
Do you remember where you were?
written November 2001 – Annette
We took a train uptown today to the New York Historical Museum.
We saw a wall of pictures and a video that was rather grim.
The exhibit was a Memorial for that tragic day in September.
The images were so vivid. It’s something I’ll aways remember.
A daily scene for millions; the Trade Towers were an amazing sight.
The focal point of New York’s skyline. Visible both day and night.
The two towers of the World Trade Center standing proud and tall.
Those two famous towers that eventually would fall.
We saw the ghastly outline of the plane that crashed into one tower.
Then, the second building was hit. It was suddenly out of our power.
The suffocating flames and smoke. Paper falling out of the sky.
People started jumping. They knew that they would die.
Fire alarms blasted while employees walked down the stairs.
A calm stillness fell over the crowd, perhaps from silent prayers.
Firefighters rushed toward the flames with one goal: to save.
Finding strangers in need of help. These heroes were extremely brave.
Then, in disbelief and horror we watched the tower crumble to the ground.
Thick black smoke, screaming and people running all around.
We watched grief-stricken. We didn’t want this tragedy anymore.
Then we heard the noise. The last tower fell. We knew it was an act of war.
The images from September 11th have a great impact on me.
I cannot describe my emotions with each picture that I see.
For example, the photo of a mother and child on the balcony playing games,
With the towers seen in the distance both engulfed in flames.
There’s a picture of a dust-covered cell phone resting on top of a car,
Still trying to connect to the number dialed before it fell from the tower so far.
There are pictures of firefighters and police sifting through the debris and steel.
Endless hours searching for their brothers. What pain and anguish these heroes must feel.
There are scenes of President Bush visiting ground zero and silencing our fear.
And Laura Bush graciously saying the things we needed to hear.
Of course there is Giuliani our Mayor, friend and hero.
Through sleepless nights he calmed the chaos that created New York’s “Ground Zero”
The most powerful image is the firemen raising our flag above the ruins and dust.
It echoes the words felt in my heart: freedom, liberty and “in God we Trust.”
Of course there is the massive destruction of the places I used to go.
It is sad to think when our children grow up these are places they will never know.
But the pictures from the 11th will be a reminder for you and me.
We will remember that freedom is important and it doesn’t come for free.
We must reach out to those around us, love others and learn to share.
We must help were we can, extend ourselves and show we truly care.
We may live to be one hundred years old or we may die tomorrow at 2:00.
There’s so much need in our country today. There’s so much for us to do.
We can’t always think of ourselves and our own personal gain.
We must help others along the way. Our loved ones did not die in vain.
Look at the pictures from September 11th and remember the feelings you had.
Show children how to help others and teach the difference between good and bad.
Our future is ahead of us. We must now learn from the past.
Today if we teach our children well, we will know that peace can last.