My youngest daughter was asked by one of her teachers to interview one of her parents about 9/11. It’s difficult to express to a child what type of impact all of this had on us that day. So many lives were lost without just cause. I remember going to a grocery store the following day. People were silent as we heard names read off of a long list of people killed. The images will haunt us forever, but the aftermath of what happened to my husband was even more difficult. Over the years, we have readjusted our lives.
I received a letter from the school the other day. Some sort of portable museum about 9/11 was going to be brought to the middle school. The letter read that kids today might not remember because they were too young or not born yet. However, the impact of what happened to my family is known by my children. We are not alone. It took years of fighting to get the onslaught of illnesses acknowledged, but there is always a constant fight and a growing list. My husband may not see himself as a hero to anyone, but in our house, he’s our hero. I find myself extremely defensive of him knowing all that he’s been through physically due to the aftermath of 9/11. But, there is a moral of the story today….sometimes, something wonderful comes out of something so terrible. I told my daughter that I would post her paper today on my site. I did edit where she wrote out her whole name.
On September 11th, 2001, my mom saw the first attack had already taken place on the news. As she was watching the news, the second attack took place. She saw the second plane hit the tower.
She had just come home from taking her two oldest daughters to the bus stop. At the time, she had a baby. She turned the news on before she gave Kylie breakfast. Her first reaction was that a bomb blew up in one of the towers because the first picture on the news was the first tower on fire. When she saw the second tower get hit by an airplane, she knew it was a terrorist attack.
The day was horrible for my mother. My father was a NYPD detective, and he was working in the city that day. She tried calling him to see if he was okay, but none of the cell phones were working. It took awhile to get through. She was very worried. When she finally got through, she was the first to tell her husband about the attacks because the police radios weren’t working right. My father said he wasn’t sure when he would see her again.
She kept her kids close. Lots of family members were calling them, wondering if her husband was okay. Her girls told her about people in the school who were notified that family members may be dead. It was horrible. She was very, very sad. She knew people that lost family members and friends. One day, while her husband was working at Ground Zero, one of the buildings next to him collapsed right after he left. He barely got out in time.
The images that stay in my mother’s mind are of the buildings on fire, the airplanes crashing into the building, the towers collapsing with people inside it, people running from the building covered in dust, people jumping, and photos of people standing within the buildings waiting to be rescued.
When my dad got sick from 9/11 working in Rescue and Recovery for nine months, it took a long time for the government to acknowledge that people were sick from 9/11. Something really good came out of all of this. After my dad worked there for over nine months, he saw a lot of sad families who lost their family members. He called my mom up. He said to my mom that he was sad about all the people who died and that he wanted to bring a life to this world. So they decided to have another baby, and gave her the middle name Renee which means reborn. That baby was me. We always need a new life to this world.