Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11th Challenge

Hi it’s Christina –

Good morning! For twelve years now, I would wake up on this day, hoping for rain or at least dark clouds, anything different than 2001’s picture perfect day. Even though I knew it probably won’t make much difference, I still hoped. For some reason, I thought if the day looked less like that fateful day thirteen years ago, then maybe the memories wouldn’t be so vivid. They would be clouded like the sky; but Mother Nature has yet to comply with my request.

Every September 11th, for thirteen years in a row, there has been nothing but blue skies. I did get my hopes up a little this morning when I went outside for the first time. It was still dark, and the ground was wet. I looked up at the sky, watched the clouds dissipate, and the moon shine through. It was going to be another beautiful day.

It just didn’t seem right. After what had happened, today should be dreary, rainy, cold and dark. But should it? Does the consistent perfect weather on this day signal a sign of hope, a sign we should see the light and not the dark? It is harder to be sad on a sunny day.

Like the bombing of Pearl Harbor was for our grandparents, and the assassination of President Kennedy was for our parents, the memory of September 11th, 2001 will forever be burned into the memory of our generation. Even if we tried, we would never be able to forget it. For me, I still remember every second, even though I was not in the city that day.

I was working for a major financial firm at the time. I had friends and colleagues, who were in the buildings. I was on the phone with one, urging her to get out when the second plane hit and the phone line went dead. (She survived.)

I remember the frustration of having to sit idle, while watching the scene unfold. With all my years of emergency medical training, it went against my grain not to go into the city to try and help. The endless wail of emergency sirens, and I was not with them. It did help a little when I found out that most of the emergency crews from New Jersey never made it into the city, but not much.

After the towers fell, they released us from work and I went directly to my children’s school. I remember each terse word I had for the office staff when they initially were not going to release my children to me. I remember my eleven year old son’s disappointment when the hospital staff refuse to let him donate blood. I remember holding each of my children until they fell asleep, then reluctantly putting them in their beds. I remember the first rays of sun coming through the living room window the next morning as I sat there and watched the news. I had been there all night.

Today, the sounds of sirens may make us cringe, and we will probably notice each plane that flies overhead. Today we will remember the innocent lives lost, and the loss of those who tried to save them. Hopefully today we will take the time to tell those dear to us, we love them, and rescue workers we appreciate them.

I will not be turning on the tv today, well at least not to a news station. I do not need to see pictures of what happened that day, they are too easily called up in my memory. I do not need to hear the bell tolling as each of the names are read, and I do not need to shed any more tears. Instead, thought I will never forget, I have decided to appreciate the day and the people around me, because I think that is the best tribute to all those people who lost their lives thirteen years ago.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, and I think it is long overdue. So, next year, when I wake up to a picture perfect September 11th, I will smile and thank God for the beautiful day.

I hope you have a blessed day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is:

How would the story have gone if Snow White never took a bite out of the poison apple?

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.