Midwestern Mom's Musings

My view of the world through words & photos

9/11 Reflection – 13 Years Later

Three year ago, I wrote these words:

“Ten years ago, I was working at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital when I learned about the tragedy in NYC…then DC…then PA. While each of the crash sites were horrific, one of the images that is burned in my mind is of the hundreds of medical personnel in NYC waiting for the expected thousands of victims – who never came. Throughout the hospital we were praying for our fellow hospital workers, as well as for the victims. Praying for the strength they would need to care for so many injured. Slowly we, and they, realized no more victims would be arriving. The look of realization at the enormous loss of life on their faces was heartbreaking. Medical people who didn’t have anyone to care for from the crash and collapse; first responders who didn’t have anyone left to rescue; New Yorkers who no longer had family and friends; people around the world who had witnessed a tragedy beyond comprehension.

“This morning, Emmaus, the group I sing with at St. Richard, selected “Let There Be Peace On Earth” as our sending forth song at the end of Mass. And that is my wish and prayer for all of you and for our future. If you haven’t heard this beautiful song, or even if you have, enjoy this version: http://youtu.be/HPH4LRASWbo

There are so many ways our lives have changed since that horrible day.  Threat levels.  TSA.  Airport screenings.  Fighter planes immediately scrambled to escort airplanes that enter airspace they aren’t supposed to be in or which are non-responsive.  News stories about terrorism every day.  Terrorism being suspected whenever something bad happens.  Two words, “nine-eleven,” being said and nothing more needing to be said.

Twin Tower Lights 091114 - Photo by Ryan Budhu and posted by ABC World News Tonight with David Muir

Twin Tower Lights 091114 – Photo by Ryan Budhu and posted by ABC World News Tonight with David Muir

While it is a little thing in the big picture, one of the things I miss the most is the ability for those who are not flying being able to go to the gate with those who were traveling by plane.  There are no more last conversations held in the gate area minutes before you are separated again.  Waiting areas are now filled with large groups of strangers waiting for hours for their flight.  No more long hugs before someone enters the gangway.  They have been replaced with quick hugs outside the terminal in the drop off lane before you are told to leave quickly by a guard or TSA officer.  And there are no more joyful reunions at the gate.  The ones I miss the most are when grandkids see their grandparents and tear away from their parents to run into their grandparents waiting arms.  They still take place in the terminal, but it’s not the same.

We still fly.  We still live our lives.  We still work for a better future for ourselves and our families.  The terrorists didn’t win, but their actions mean our children will never know some of the freedoms we enjoyed without ever knowing they were freedoms until they were gone.

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This entry was posted on September 11, 2014 by in Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged , , .
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