9-11, We Are Forever Changed – article I wrote in 2006

Posted by Melissa in Blog Business on September 11, 2010

I feel like I should write something about 9-11. I now write for a living, so I might as well get all my feelings out on paper. Just thinking “9-11” is painful for me. Every time I see “9:11” on a clock I get this sick feeling in my heart and my stomach. On 9-11 our innocence was taken, our sense of safety was taken and everything changed forever. We knew there were some terrorists that did random things, but we never expected such a large, calculated, hateful and evil attack. The video and the pictures of the WorldTradeCenter on that awful morning caused most of us to feel absolutely devastated. We knew people were in there and we knew they were dying. I didn’t know any of them, but I have cried at the thought of them; the thought of who they were. The mothers that would never go home to hug their babies, the dads that would never walk through the front door…I could go on, but you already know.

The people who died were Americans and regardless of how much we argue over politics, America is a family. I know as a nation we felt like a family in the months after 9-11. That slowly, and then rapidly, began to change.

As a mother, 9-11 pulled the rug right out from under me. My biggest worries, regarding my son’s school, were about grades and the class bully. Ever since that day I have had to drop my son off at school and wonder if this is the school the terrorists will choose to attack. My son always went to Christian schools and we all know how “they” feel about Christians. You look at your baby walking off and you pray that they will be safe until you come back. My nightly and morning prayers included a request that if there was a bomb or some one in the school that they would be discovered before the kids arrived. The word “stress” doesn’t cover what a mother feels in the days, months and years after 9-11. Many thought I was irrational and worrying about something that would never happen, but then the Beslan School massacre happened.

We are now a nation that has to worry about getting on planes or going into government buildings or going into a sports stadium. We all tell ourselves we will be fine, but in the back of our minds we wonder… I know people say that we cannot let the terrorists scare us and we need to move forward. This is true, but unrealistic. We all love someone and we are loved by someone. Therefore, our untimely death, or theirs, would devastate someone and we all know it.

It seems inevitable that we will be attacked again. It is just a matter of time, right? I know the U.S. Government has stopped many horrible things from occurring and I applaud them. I feel like they will keep working hard to prevent another attack, but what happens when President Bush leaves office? All I hear is people complaining that the President is putting too much money into national security; what happens if the next President cuts back on national security? Our former President, Bill Clinton, cut back on these costs and look what happened. This country cannot afford to cut back on national security. In fact, we should probably invest more!

9-11. It makes me feel a little sick to look at it or to hear it. I am 32, I wasn’t here for Pearl Harbor so I cannot compare the pain, but in my lifetime I have never observed something so awful. Well, the Oklahoma Bombing was darn close, but 9-11 was different. No matter what anyone says we are all forever changed. We are all different. We worry about things we would have never worried about before. We look at things differently and for me personally there is a sense of sadness that has not left since that day. I didn’t know anyone that died on 9-11, but I feel like a part of me died. I think a part of all of us died.

It has been five years and I can still see in my mind, crystal clear, the WorldTradeCenter burning, the second plane hitting the south tower, the look on President Bush’s face when he was told, the images of people running, the towers collapsing… It is burned into our brains and it will never go away. I don’t think the word traumatized covers it. I hear people say that we as Americans have forgotten what it was like. Wrong, we will never forget, but we are all trying to live regular lives.

9-11 is 9-11. It was absolutely horrible and I know that I have been changed forever. My sense of safety is gone, my fear of losing my family is much greater and the fear of my children being hurt is really indescribable.

So, to the families that lost someone on 9-11, I want you to know that although we will never feel the pain and devastation you felt we do feel a lot of the pain. We felt it that day. As a wife and a mother I could only imagine the devastation everyone felt when their loved ones didn’t come home. I think of you and pray for you often. Every time I see 9:11 on a clock I am reminded. No one will ever forget 9-11 and they will never forget how many people died that day. We are all forever changed.

9-11-2006

© Melissa Fach

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4 years later I am still thinking about the families that lost loved ones and the families of those that worked in the aftermath and died as a result. I am so sorry.

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