It’s hard to believe that the September 11 attacks happened 18 years ago. I remember that morning clearly. I lived in California and was in my car, driving to the school at which I worked.
My thoughts that morning were centered on school and all that needed to be done that day to be ready for Back to School Night that evening.
The news was on and the reporter caught my attention, talking about a terrorist attack and I thought they were maybe reporting on an attack in Israel. Then New York City was mentioned and I was confused.
Needless to say, when I arrived at school, everyone congregated near the office to learn more. Back to School Night was cancelled and most of the school day was spent watching TV coverage in our classrooms.
Almost 3,000 people were killed that day and about 6,000 others were injured. Who knows how many people have died since then of related respiratory and cancer issues caused that day.
Coordinated attacks took place, with two airplanes striking the World Trade Center, another the Pentagon and a 4th plane that was heading towards Washington, DC. However, it crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania when passengers realized what was happening and tried to stop the hijackers.
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was built on the site where the Twin Towers stood.
It was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the attacks and opened to the public on 21 May 2014.
If you aren’t able to visit the memorial in person, the website has many links.
Did you know you can explore the Memorial via its webcam? Book a tour.
There are several online collections well worth viewing and whether you are a teacher or want to educate younger family members about that day, there are resources to help.
The second best thing to an in-person visit is a virtual tour.
If you know someone who died in New York that day, there is a Name Finder option. too.
Although I don’t know anyone who died in New York, I do have two friends who were working in the Pentagon that morning. Both survived, with one of them working just 150 feet away from the spot where the plane hit the building.
I also know the wife of one of my husband’s co-workers who was in Washington, DC on business. She was scheduled to fly back to California that fateful Tuesday morning. However, she wanted to see the Angels in the playoffs and returned home a day earlier. The two co-workers who traveled with her let their reservations stand and they died on the plane that hit the Pentagon.
Many of us have stories like mine to share and thousands lost their a member of their family that day. Take a moment to remember all the innocent lives that were lost both on that day and in the intervening years, due to its effects.
Let us never forget. Remember, too, that freedom is not free.