9/11: Remembering & Carrying On

by Kathy on September 11, 2011 · 4 comments

in 9/11, Background, Grief, Healing, Holidays, Hope, Inspiration, Loss, Memories, Milestones, Peace, Time, Writing

Like so many of you, today as we mark the 10th Anniversary of that fateful time in our nation’s history I have a heavy heart. It’s hard to believe that ten years have come and gone since “the day the world changed.” I know I will never forget my experience on September 11, 2001 and I can only imagine what it was like for those who lost one or more loved ones through the terror attacks that took place.

Bob and I have spent much of our free time in the evenings over the past week watching commemorative specials and documentaries on television (mostly produced for the National Geographic Channel) featuring stories about the history and impact of 9/11. It has been fascinating and also heart-wrenching to return to the images and news coverage from that time in our country and our world’s recent history. I have gotten choked up and moved to tears often while taking all of it in and it brings me back to the thoughts and feelings that I had on that day ten years ago.

This week we have also talked about the events of 9/11 for the first time with our almost 8 year-old-son Sean. We felt that he was old enough now to be able to comprehend what happened, as much as any of us can. Sean has asked some thoughtful questions and expressed interest in learning more. He also had some interesting reactions to what we told him, including commenting that he was really glad that his Daddy and I were not killed that day, as then it wouldn’t have been possible for him, his sister Molly in Heaven and his sister Abby to have been born.

I have written about my memories of 9/11 and other related stories that have moved me over the years on my blog in these posts:

P.S. (9/11/07)
I wrote this after watching a 9/11 tribute episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that morning, which had profiled some of the children of those who had died in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or on Flight 93. I also talked about how when we go through difficult and uncertain times in our lives the importance of being able to transfer what we learn from those experiences into being more sensitive to others who are also struggling, even if their trials are nothing like ours.

We Carry On (8/29/09)
I wrote this about how we carry on after the death of loved ones. It highlights a story that President Obama shared two years ago in the eulogy he gave at Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral. The President talked about how Senator Kennedy reached out to and supported the families of 9/11 victims in his home state of Massachusetts. In light of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, I think this post is both timeless and timely.

8 Years (9/11/09)
This post includes my account of my experience on 9/11/01, which I had previously typed up for myself and to share with some loved ones on 9/11/02, as I wanted to remember what I could about my experience that day, while it was still somewhat fresh in my mind.

A Prayer for Peace (5/2/11)
I wrote this soon after I found out that U.S. troops had found and killed Osama Bin Laden earlier this year.

I thought I would link to these posts, for those who are interested, and for myself to have them all together in one place as I reflect, remember and honor the lives of those who died on September 11, 2001.

This morning is the first class of the Religious Education (RE) program during this school year for the children in our parish church who do not attend Catholic school, as well as for me and my fellow catechists (RE teachers). I am teaching second grade RE for the second year in a row. The first half of the school year I will be preparing the students in my class, including our son Sean, for their first Reconciliation in January. The second half of the school year I will be getting them ready to receive their first Holy Communion.

I find it ironic on this 10th Anniversary of 9/11, that my RE lesson plan today includes talking with the children about the concept of asking forgiveness for the times we have wronged others in our life, as well as forgiving others that have harmed us. I do plan to touch on the significance of today’s date in class and pray with the children for all those who died and whose lives have been impacted.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who continue to grieve and carry on after losing loved ones that day, as well as everyone whose lives were touched and changed by the events that took place on 9/11.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lavender Luz September 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

That's wonderful that you've got a set of posts on the same subject. It will be interesting, as time passes, to see the effect that passing time has on your words.

How did your RE lesson go? Funny how that topic came up that day, of all days.

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2 Keiko September 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm

An important lesson indeed: forgiveness in the wake of 9/11.

I've had the opposite reaction to 9/11 – I've been avoiding coverage as much as possible. It's a painful day to remember. I think what finally did it for me was when I watched 108 Minutes. There's the one clip of the students from Columbia or NYU just a few blocks from the Towers, and they actually captured the 2nd plane hitting Tower 2. Their screams and reactions will probably haunt me until the day I die – it's totally one of those "you'll never unsee it" moments.

So yeah, as little reliving of the day's events as much as I could this year.

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