It seems as though it was just yesterday…

I remember when an extremist terrorist group decided to bully us by attacking us on our soil. I had just dropped my kids off at daycare and school, and arrived to work. We heard that there was an accident in NYC. My intern was sick and told us to turn on the news. I was a help desk tech, so I brought out our training TV (with the VHS on-board). I had just gotten it on and the channel to come in with the antennae. It was at that moment that my department witnessed the second plane go into the WTC tower. It was as if that plane physically went into my body. I didn’t realize I had screamed. Thankfully, all of the management staff was in a meeting in the plant. I was told I had to go and inform them. My body went from pain as if were filled with lead. I ran to the meeting room and told my boss. She interrupted the meeting to tell the VP. They turned on the televisions in the training room. I silently left.

I struggled to get through the day like a zombie. It was hazy, to be honest. I picked up my kiddos from daycare and held them. I had frozen pizzas on hand, so that is what was for dinner. My Abuser came home to tell me about his day, making all of the tragedy about him. I didn’t hear him. I listened to the news and cried. It was surreal.

I will NEVER forget the flags everywhere. I will NEVER forget the silent skies where there were no planes flying. I will NEVER forget the renewed sense of patriotism. I will also never forget all of the sorrow that flowed, from the most common person to the President of the United States, as well as other countries from around the world. They shared our sorrow and stood with us.

Years later, my Abuser took me with him to NYC, as he was a truck driver and had a haul headed to New Jersey. I had always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty. On our way to see her, we stopped by the WTC Memorial. It was the most awe-inspiring thing I had ever witnessed, as the fountains were built in the footprint of the WTC towers. Honestly, it looked like the “Well of Souls” from mythology — which it essentially was. The outer rim had the names of all who had died at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and in the field. I wept, as I walked along. I found Todd Beamer’s name and traced his name with my fingers. While I was doing so, people walked by looking at me oddly, shaking their heads. Did they not know what happened? Was this not hallowed ground? The area where Todd’s name was emblazoned, was worn by all the touches.

I was touched and changed that day. Again, that day, I did not hear my Abuser’s words. We travelled on to see Liberty, although he threatened to not take me. I did not hear him. I walked with a renewed sense of purpose. I started following the signs on the street:

He followed behind me, yelling and threatening. I kept going forward…I hadn’t come this far to not see Her! I walked all the way to the ferry dock, with my Abuser behind me screaming. It’s pretty bad when New Yorkers take notice and wonder who the screaming idiot was. As I stood there, I ignored him. At one point, a man in front of me asked me if I was okay and if that man was bothering me. I looked him right in the eyes and said, “I don’t know him.” My Abuser immediately shut up. He was quiet until we got onto Her island. She was completely beautiful. I knew she’d seen everything and I used her stoic strength that day. I did not talk to him until we got back into the city. I was then ready to get something to eat. I was a changed woman that day and I have SO many heroic souls to thank for that strength. I felt them walking beside me, in front of me, and behind me!

Today is Patriots Day. I do my utmost to be a patriot every day! I want them to know that they did not die in vain, although they were taken from us too soon! Love and light! <3