Saturday, September 12, 2009

What September 11th, 2001 means to me

I remember September 11th 2001 very vividly in my mind and what I was doing when it happened. I was preparing for a regular work day and I remember the weather was beautiful. I knew Maria was taking Matthew to the dentist later in the day and we had to respond to the management office whether we were interested in renting at a housing community in Suffolk as today was the commitment date. As I was driving in to work in Melville, New York which is about 25 minutes from my house I put my radio on and I heard a report that apparently a plane had hit the World Trade Center and I was surprised at the report. At this time the reporters on the story were not sure exactly what was happening nor were they sure what kind of plane hit the tower. All they knew was something bad happened and they were preparing to cover it. As I neared the office as I am listening to this unbelievable reporting I am listening to someone being interviewed from where they witnessed the incident and they claimed that the plane that hit the tower was a commercial airliner and it was very disturbing hearing this. As the person is relaying what they witnessed he looks over at the scene from his location and he describes in the live interview what he was feeling and immediately he shouts Oh My is that another plane and I was thinking what is happening as the reporter and witness both shout that another plane has just hit the World Trade Center sending a hugh fireball into the sky. I was in total shock as I am hearing this unfold and just could not believe what I was hearing. It was all surreal to me and as I arrived I did not want to leave my car and the coverage but I knew I had to go to the office. As I entered my office I could see the look of total disbelief on my fellow employees faces as they also heard about what was happening at the World Trade Center. No one in the office could focus on work as we used our computers to access the internet to get up to date coverage. It was just the most saddest day I can ever remember as we were listening to the reports and the horror of what was happening and what was unfolding. I called my wife to be careful as she was with Matthew and still planning to take him to his dentist's appointment. I asked her if she was watching the news and she said she was and she could not believe what was going on.

I also called my dad who had worked on the World Trade Center many years earlier and spoke to him about it as I was in total shock and he was very saddened by the events and also could not believe it himself. I remember after calling my dad all my coworkers just looked at each other and we were realizing that our country was under attack. It was something I never ever could imagine.

As we listened to the reports and saw the video images replayed over and over I just felt a pain I really can't describe but it was a pain I would never forget as I thought about all those poor people who perished on the planes and in the buildings. When I saw coverage of people jumping I was just so deeply affected emotionally as all I could think about was what was going through their minds as they knew they were going to die and had to jump to escape being burned. I also thought that these innocent people who started out the day like I did just going to work and never realizing that they would be gone in a matter of moments was truly incomprehensible. And all those poor children that lost a mother or a father or both parents was truly so very sad. When I heard one of the towers had just totally collapsed I was stunned as I called my dad again about it. This day was the worst day I ever experienced as a witness to a news event. Our country was attacked by evil people who have no rules and no compassion. They are truly evil. When we heard that a plane crashed at the Pentagon we were bewildered and just trying to grasp the gravity of the moment. My son wished that this day never happened as did I.

We went out to lunch and we were watching the coverage on a tv set and were hearing reports that another plane had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania and it was rumoured that the plane was believed to be headed for the White House. We were all wondering what in the world was going on and we were all frightened as we were caught up in the moment and in total shock over all that had transpired in the past 4 hours. It was like having the worst nightmare you could ever imagine as we witnessed this horrific tragedy. We felt helpless and not sure how we could do anything to help these poor people. We were also wondering where President Bush was as all this was happening as reports came in that he was reading a story to kids in an elementary school in Florida as he was informed by his secret service men.

Later in the afternoon we had learned that the second tower had collapsed as both towers, a fixture in New York since the 1970s were gone. It was unimaginable and just made us want to be home with our families on this very tragic day. We were looking for answers to why this happened and who was responsible as we just felt so bad for all who perished. I cried that day and was devastated and just so numb and I was detached from it. There were so many directly impacted by it and the pain they were experiencing could never be healed.

I called my dad again when I learned that both towers had collapsed. We also heard reports of all the heroic fireman and policemen on the scene who ran into the building as people were running for their lives from them. They were so brave and made the supreme sacrifice as we lost so many of them that day. The reality of the event took time to understand and when we learned who was responsible we wanted him to die an unmerciful death along with all his supporters and all the terrorists who are responsible for tragic events such as these.

September 11th is such a solemn day and I pray for all we lost that day and for their families. It was just such a rude awakening for our nation as we were totally unprepared and blindsided by it. Those images will always stay in my mind of the 2 planes crashing into the towers and all we lost that day. I also learned about the heroes on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania as the passengers managed to work together knowing that they were going to die to attack the cabin where the terrorists had taken over the plane after killing the flight crew. They were so brave and they were responsible for sparing another direct hit on a governmental building. They died and they were responsible for saving the lives of others with their heroic actions. I will always remember this sad tragic day and will realize that good always triumphs over evil.

As I got home that day in total disbelief I gave my wife and son a big hug and kiss and told them how much I love them. I then proceeded to the living room to watch the coverage as I was still in shock about it all.
I don't think I slept that night as I was just so upset and felt so helpless. It really did affect us even if we were not directly affected. We all lost something that day and my heart goes out to all who died needlessly and to all the families that were affected. I am also grateful to the hard work and dedication and selflessness of all the heroes and good samaritans who put their lives on the line to do whatever they could to help those who could be saved. September 11th was and will always be a solemn day but the spirit and courage of all those who made the supreme sacrifice knowing full well they were in imminent danger just makes you proud and very sad.
I pray for all we lost that day and for all the families that lost loved ones and for us as a nation to pull together in unity and to honor all the military that put their lives on the line so we can have our freedom and rights. They are heroic.

Edward D. Iannielli III

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