9-11 A Day Not Forgotten
The day was a Tuesday. My husband, 3 sons (ages 12,6, & 1 1/2 ), and I had spent the previous night with a cousin in Maryland to take a homeschooling field trip to the nation’s capital, Washington DC. We live about 4 hours away from DC, so her house was a little closer. I had never been there and was anxious to finally have the opportunity. My cousin was very familiar to the area so she graciously agreed to be our driver. It was a beautiful, sunny day. One I will never forget.
As we neared the city, our plan was to stop at a rest area and pick up a metro map so we could figure out where we would park and what metro would take us to the places we wanted to see. Upon entering the information area, all faces were turned to the television with wide eyes and dropped jaws as news reporters were trying to describe what had just happened in New York City. Of course, we were in awe as well, but our focus was still on Washington DC.
Just as we were about to exit the building, we heard, “We have just been informed that a plane has hit the Pentagon.” Now we stopped cold. The Pentagon is right outside Washington DC. Immediately, we knew something terrible was happening in our country and decided to head back to my cousin’s house in Maryland. We attempted to call her husband at their house, but all phone lines were busy. Our focus now was to just get home. As we headed back to her house, we turned the radio on to see if we could receive any information on what was happening that day.
You see, I live in a very rural, remote area of Pennsylvania. We have beautiful farmland, lots of trees and mountains, and not much traffic! We are not used to the busy city life and all is quiet – most of the time! As the radio continued to be filled with news stories about the events of the day, reporters were giving up-to-date information and predictions of what was and what could be. Amid the talk we heard them mention Somerset County, Pennsylvania. We almost slammed on the brakes right in the middle of the interstate! To you, that may not mean anything, but that small, rural, quiet town I live in is Somerset, Pennsylvania! How could 2 major cities – New York and Washington DC – just have experienced major catastrophes, and our little, no-name, quiet county just be mentioned in the same news report?
We then learned that a fourth plane had come down and it was 18 miles from my house. Stunned, confused, and scared, we were beginning to feel like there wasn’t a safe place and just wanted to know where all our family and friends were. We made it back to my cousin’s house, was finally able to communicate with family back home, and began to reflect on what all had just happened.
Fast-forward 16 years.
I’m sure you, also, can recount very vividly where you were on that dreadful day, September 11, 2001. As you can see from the picture above, those once quiet fields that sat beside the trees and were surrounded by beautiful mountains are now flowing daily with thousands of people who come to pay tribute to what we now know as Flight 93. The rock in the upper center of the picture above represents the place of impact where the plane hit the ground. A wall was built containing the names of all on the flight that day and there is a gate at the end of that wall that opens toward the solemn ground.
I also had the privilege of visiting New York City this year and was able to see the site where the twin towers once stood. 2 massive areas – the size of the foundation of the buildings – with walls containing name after name of those that lost their lives that day.
Both places are very sobering when you reflect upon what happened that day so many years ago, yet the details are so fresh in our memory. Teach your children about the history of our nation and what makes it so great and free. Teach them about honor and respect. Tell them about those that lost their lives to spare ours.
If you have an opportunity to visit our small, quiet Pennsylvania county or the busy, fast-paced cities of New York or Washington DC, take a moment to stop at these memorials and reflect upon 9/11 – a day not forgotten.
Jodi has been with TOS since April 2016. She serves as a Human Resource and Operations Assistant and is also the Homeschooling with Heart blog manager. Jodi is a pastor’s wife and has 3 boys. She has homeschooled for 17 years and also taught in the private and public school settings. Jodi enjoys teaching, playing the piano, scrapbooking, and making cards. Her heart’s desire is to help others learn to enjoy these things as well! firstname.lastname@example.org