Where were you that day and what stands out most in your memory?
By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | September 11, 2013
September 11, 2001 is forever ingrained into our memories as it unfolded; most every person can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing on that horrible day. It was Tuesday, the day I always went to my Parents Anonymous Group meeting. I was chatting with a friend who called and watching the NBC Today Show while I finished paperwork at my desk. The first plane hit – I told my friend to turn her TV on and said good-bye. The second plane hit and in that instant I knew that life as we knew it had ended.
Thoughts came back to my children – all our children. What will they remember? And what will their world be like?
There were several Parents Anonymous members at the meeting that day; we all were looking for comfort and explanations. We got news of the plane crash in Arlington County, Virginia and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and wondered if there would be more. We ended the meeting early and left in search of family members – nothing made any sense.
Now, twelve years later, security is much tighter, there are memorials in place and there are several activities around the country to commemorate that day: Readings of the names, ringing of the bells and gatherings of people.
My thoughts return to our children and two things that stand out from that event that have not changed in America:
In 2001, a man who was speeding pulled his truck just inches from my rear bumper and honked his horn, yelled something intelligible and gave me the middle finger as he flew past me. My thought then was, “Don’t you know we have just been attacked?” The person driving on the highway with us, acting like a maniac, is the same person who you see being interviewed on the TV news about a sad story and looking appropriately sensitive and empathetic. Isn’t it an odd feeling when you arrive in your doctor’s office and find that same person who honked and gave you a Jersey salute, waiting for the same doctor as you?
Shortly after the 2001 attacks, a member from another Parents Anonymous Group contacted me for information. We chatted and conversation drifted to the recent terrible attacks while I dug up the info she needed. She began to tell me how her husband went to New York City to help that day, and then related a list of things he ‘picked up’ that day. Honor was something this member’s husband (and she) knew nothing about. Such is the melting pot we live in and are a party to.
Call me naïve but I would have hoped that if anything, we would have become kinder— better toward each other. How sad is that?
I guess not – but we can never let go of hope.
Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.
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