There's nothing of note from my Sept. 11 story. I was in third period Spanish when I first heard and started watching the events on TV.
There might not be anything from yours, either. Maybe you too were simply at school or work when someone called, telling you to flip on the news.
From that moment on, you started to pick up little details that you'd never forget. Non-news channels breaking from programming to offer thoughts and condolences. Maybe having a flight canceled from the airport groundings. Sports and other activities eventually returning from their hiatus.
But for many others, the thought of the attacks evoke much deeper and saddening memories. For them, their loved ones were riding on one of four hijacked planes, working in one of two skyscrapers in New York or a federal building in Virginia, walking at the base of the skyscrapers as debris rained down, or helped clean up the rubble, inhaling what became—and continues to be—fatal dust.
As it has been for the past 11 years, the anniversary of Sept. 11 will forever be 24 hours for those lost that day—the acquaintances and friends, peers and bosses, sons and daughters, husbands and wives.
It will be a day to reflect on the freedoms that continue in spite of those who try to rock them from their 236-year-old foundation.
It will be a day to immortalize halos from the ashes.
A few days before the 10th anniversary last year, just such an angel was honored. It was then that a ceremony for Jennifer Kane and the nearly 3,000 other victims was held at the Powder Springs police station.
Their names are written on an American flag mounted in the station's lobby and donated by Kane’s aunt and uncle, Grace and Michael Janney of Powder Springs.
Kane was a 26-year-old Certified Public Accountant working on the 103rd floor of the North Tower when, at 8:46 a.m., a plane traveling hundreds of miles an hour slammed into the side of the building. She was believed to be right at the impact zone, and none of her remains were found.
On this Sept. 11, join me in remembering Kane and all those who fell victim to the crashes and collapses that left a permanent tear on the Statue of Liberty. Join me in praising the bravery of those who contracted illnesses from clearing what was left of two symbols of American ingenuity and drive.
Join me in recognizing that though our hearts were rocked on Sept. 11, 2001, others had their whole lives flipped upside down. May they always be remembered in our thoughts and prayers, and when we reach for own American dreams.
Today's anniversary reminded me of something I wrote a few months ago. It’s about the frightening few moments for those who might have seen the first plane approaching:
A September Death
'Tis a terrible death,
When you see it coming,
Like a dark missile bird,
Gliding outside a window,
Where Sheila is standing,
Stuck in a horrified glance,
Holding up her shaky hand,
As if to stop the speeding dart,
Not even time to realize,
Her gesture is powerless,
Not even time to consider,
The impending doom,
But for my last seconds,
The world is frozen,
And I have plenty of time,
To play my flash of life,
To welcome Death's touch,
To pivot and witness,
All the soon-to-be angels,
Who will fly toward heaven,
Aboard fire, smoke and metal,
And stand in the judgement line,
Behind the bird's final masters,
Who through the eyes of the beast,
Express little triumph and much regret,
Perhaps some uncertainty and tons of fear,
There is so much more...
Oh my God!