Friday, September 11, 2009

*Where were you?

Like most mommies of small children, I was home that day. Husband had called to tell me about a terrible accident in New York. Like everyone else, I turned the television on. Yes, I believed the floundering newscasters reporting the unfortunate incident. Yes, I watched in horror as the second plane hit and then stayed glued to the television for the next horrible hours that followed taking breaks only long enough to attend to the children's basic needs. I also saw the towers collapse and wept silently in my room where the small TV was located. I hugged my babies... the Professor, my precocious three year old, Sunshine, my toddling two year old and Shortcake, the not-yet one year old babe in my arms. I remember every image burned into my brain on that day. The people hanging out the windows. The tears flowing. The looks of disbelief and despair. The white dust that covered those who had escaped from one horror into another.

What I remember most is the quiet. When you live about 10 miles away from the 6th busiest airport in the world, you notice the sound of accelerating or decelerating every three minutes like clockwork. It becomes a regular rhythm of your life; a background cadence that you make peace with for the sake of your own sanity.

Until it's gone.

Then... the silence is deafening.

And on that day... paralyzing.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women and
peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love those whose hearts
and minds are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude
of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance as we confront
such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so that the lives
lost here may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

Pope Benedict XI--Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008


  1. I learned about the first tower when I got in my car to drive to work. The second was hit while I was driving just a few minutes to my lab. We all stayed glued to the radio at work and didn't get much done. I was a newlywed then, married in June of that year without my precious three kiddos yet born. My husband and I were not Catholic yet. And my husband was not in the service at that time. My, how my life has changed since that day.

  2. We were on our way to class (college) after getting a tasty breakfast out. We only heard the first reports before they were saying it was a plane. We didn't find anything out till lunch when we were able to get to a TV.

  3. I remember when the F-18's flew overhead... We were outside, and I panicked at the noise after the deafening quiet that had engulfed us all day.... and I ran outside and dragged the kids inside, only to look up and see the fighter jets, so small, yet so loud. My heart was thumping out of my chest.
    I broke down again, it was just so scary.

  4. I was with my son at his doctor's office for a visit and everyone there panicing, because we only heard bits and pieces of the news.

  5. Charlotte, I also remember the silence. It seemed the world was in mourning. We are on a flight path -- while not close to the airport -- we hear the engines as they descend.The silence was truly deafening.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!