Special 9-11 Memorial Blog Edition
Monday, September 11th, 2017 by Joy Padgett
September 11, 2001 is a day most of us will never forget. I was at work when a fellow employee rushed in and told me a plane had hit one of the twin towers in New York City. We raced to the owner’s office to turn on the TV, thinking that this was some sort of unfortunate accident. We thought maybe the plane had engine trouble or some other sort of mechanical failure. We were shocked when we saw another plane strike the second tower, and horrified when we learned that these occurrences were no accident at all. The disbelief grew as the events of this day in 2001 continued to unfold. Another plane struck the Pentagon and another plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Flight attendants and citizens on-board sacrificed their own lives to save countless others. They were not going to allow the terrorists on their plane to kill more innocent Americans than those on the flight.
The photographs. The videos. The stories. All etched into our minds in a way that time could never erase. Our fellow Americans, average citizens, covered in ash, trying to escape from something they couldn’t grasp… couldn’t process… couldn’t explain. The thought of people jumping to escape the flames that threatened a slow and painful death could not even be comprehended by the minds of us, who helplessly watched their demise. Innocent, hard-working Americans were killed as those buildings burned with such an intense heat that the structural steel melted, twisted and collapsed under the weight of the floors above where the planes struck. Two enormous landmark buildings, that stood as proud monuments of the American Dream, crumbled to the ground because those who are not free hate those who are.
Photo taken by Sara K. Schwittek and used with her permission. Thank you Ms. Schwittek.
America watched in horror as New York City was attacked. I couldn’t even begin to understand what these people went through. I could not comprehend the sounds… the planes hitting the buildings, the screams of the people on the street below, the sirens, the thunderous boom as the buildings fell down. I couldn’t imagine the air, thick with dust that coated everything and made it nearly impossible to breathe. I couldn’t understand the smell… thick smoke… jet fuel… blood… death. Even today, 16 years later, I can’t begin to imagine what happened to these people and how it would affect them for the rest of their lives.
After those two buildings crashed down and the dust cleared, the devastation that was revealed was simply unfathomable. Search and rescue dogs scoured this massive 14-acre debris field for signs of life. Fire trucks, crushed like tin cans, were uncovered as the search continued and the clean-up began. The people of New York City worked tirelessly to find anyone who was buried in the rubble… dead or alive. They wanted to find everyone: every man, woman or child… every police officer… every fire fighter…every paramedic… no American would be left behind.
In the hours after the first plane hit, in the days after these events unfolded, something that must have confused the terrorists began… Americans banded together and the light of Freedom began to shine even brighter than before. Not even this cowardly attack on innocent Americans could put out the fire that burns in every American heart. We are a pillar of strength. We are a land of opportunity where dreams come true every day. We are a nation of people pursuing happiness. We are FREE. Although freedom comes with a price, we will not allow our freedom to be taken from us. In the aftermath of 9-11, the unbroken American Spirit emerged as strong as ever.
Weatherization Plus wants the families of those people killed on 9-11 to know, we have not forgotten their loved ones. We have not forgotten the men, women and children who were simply going about their normal routine that day. We have not forgotten the second target of those terrorists that day… the First Responders. Those brave men and women who became police officers, ambulance drivers, paramedics and fire fighters because they wanted to help people in need were targeted because of this incredible dedication to their fellow Americans.
Above all, Weatherization Plus wants to celebrate the American Spirit that cannot be dampened by acts of terrorism against it and to make sure nobody forgets this terrible day in American history.