Each generation has that moment that they can all tell you exactly where they were, what they were doing, how they felt.
My generation has 9/11 ... a day I will NEVER forget. Thinking about that day still makes me cry. I feel such profound sadness. My heart literally aches for what was lost. I grieve for what our lives were like before that moment.
My daughter was 7 months old. It was a momentous day for us. She was getting her very first sippy cup! She was the light of our lives and Jerry and I enjoyed and cherished watching her grow and reach these important milestones.
I always started my days with The Today Show. I was getting things ready to head to BabiesRUs while watching that morning. I saw that plane hit... I honestly thought it was one of those "oh shit" moments where a small plane had a pilot error or something and crashed. Stuff like that happens. It's believable. I called Jerry at work and told him some pilot had just crashed into the World Trade Center... and we were heading out to get our sippy cups!
Teresa and I spoke baby talk while driving. We listed to our cassette tape full of songs about dinosaurs, the weather, and family. Yes. I was that kind of mom. We listened to kids music before she could even speak. Oh... and Kool and the Gang. The song Celebrate could always calm her down when she was fussy in the car!
While in the check out line, Jerry called me on my cell phone. "Lori, where is your Dad today? A plane just hit the Pentagon." My heart sank. You hear that term in books and movies...but until you have actually felt it you will never understand the true depth of those words. My Dad sometimes had briefings at the Pentagon. I remember the cashier asking me if I was alright. She said I had just turned white as a ghost. I vaguely remember paying for Teresa's sippy cups and heading to the car.
I drove home sobbing as I listened to the news. What the heck was happening? Were we safe? I started thinking about how close we were to NYC and D.C. I started thinking of all the things close to us that could potentially be a target. I could not reach my Dad.
I knew that Baltimore, Gas & Electric had been put on total lockdown. Jerry told me he did not know when he'd be home. Armed guards were at the gate. Protecting our power grid was of utmost importance.
We went from a life of happy, go-lucky to one of fear. Complete and total fear. And the most profound sadness I have ever experienced. I knew that my daughter would never get to experience life the way I had. Her world would be completely different.
I did finally reach my Dad. He was safe. But I did have a cousin who was in one of the towers that day.
I was glued to the TV for days. I listened to the tapes. I read the transcripts of those 911 calls. I saw the photos. I watched it all. The sadness never went away. I held Teresa tight and cried.
We had a flag hanging by our door. I bought some for our cars. When I did venture out, I noticed the complete and total patriotism of EVERYONE. We were all united.
Two years ago, we took our girls to the 9/11 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. It is very important to me that they understand the enormity of what happened that day. Walking into that museum and turning the corner and hearing the actual news footage of that day stopped me in my tracks. I was right back in the morning. The girls looked at me and knew what was happening. The tears flowed. I had to walk away for a bit. I was not prepared for it to hit me that hard, 16 years later. But it did. It always will.
One of my favorite tributes set to one of my favorite songs was created by someone I do not know... I watch it once a year. My girls have watched it. We have talked about that day.
September 11, 2001. My generations Sounds of Silence.