#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

In Remembrance

I couldn’t let the day pass without a tribute to all the brave and innocent souls who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.  Some were stolen, and some were freely given, out of sheer courage, in an effort to protect and rescue others.  It’s hard to believe it’s been eleven years–the memories are still so fresh in my mind.  The disbelief, the horror, the anger–all those feelings are still with me, and I guess they always will be.

It seems to me that September 11 is a lot like November 22–those of us who are old enough remember that awful day in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was cut down in the prime of his life, can tell you exactly where we were and what we were doing when we got the news.  I was in high school–I remember the flag at half mast, and the scrubby snow on the ground, and being sent home early.  My mom was watching the news and crying.

On September 11, 2001, still living in Cave Creek, Arizona, I woke to a phone call from my friend, Peggy, who lives in the Eastern time zone.  She wasn’t clear on the details yet, but she said a plane had hit the World Trade Center, and I pictured a little Cessna or something, some poor guy must have had a heart attack.  When I turned on the news, there it was, the smoke and the destruction, like something out of one of those big budget disaster movies.  Not one plane, but two–full-sized airliners.  And then the Pentagon was hit, and Flight 93 went down in Pennsylvania, commandeered by brave passengers who knew they were going to die but were determined to stop one phase of the attacks.

Like most Americans, I was dazed, stricken, furious.  How could such a thing happen?

I still don’t have the answers, and of course there’s no way to change the past.  But we can–and we must–remember.

It’s the very least we can do.

19 comments to “In Remembrance”

  1. marie
      · September 11th, 2012 at 6:46 pm · Link

    WELL SAID. other than the Christmas in which we had just lost our son/brother, 2011 was the saddest holiday I can recall. not for ourselves but for our country and the victims families and friends. GOD BLESS AMERICAN ALWAYS

    • Marlene Lopez
        · September 11th, 2012 at 6:59 pm · Link

      Thank you fir your words Linda.

  2. Sherry Wallace
      · September 11th, 2012 at 7:03 pm · Link

    I, too, was in high school, Linda, when JKF was shot. On 9/11 I was working Reservations for Delta Air Lines. We, too, thought it had been a private plane accident. Phones, which were always backed up busy, were strangely silent! All we could do was pray God Bless this great nation!!

  3. Kimberly
      · September 11th, 2012 at 7:09 pm · Link

    That day was my 2nd wedding anniversary. I will always remember how it felt to be happily contemplating a nice evening with my family to celebrate, and then while I was at work listening to the radio on the internet, hearing about the attack. Living in South Dakota, we felt quite removed from everything that was happening in NYC. My boss was a Lt. Colonel in the SD National Guard, and I remember having to search for a radio so he could hear news reports about the attacks. By the time anyone else heard about it at work, you couldn’t connect to the internet at all. Since I already was, I stayed connected. My boss and his Guard Colonel locked themselves in my boss’ office to make contact with other Guard officers and figure out what was needed from SD.

    It was very surreal – as I said, in South Dakota we were so far removed from everything. That evening when my hubby and I would have celebrated our anniversary, we gathered our children together and took a quiet walk down our country road to the lake. We held our family close and thanked God that we were all OK. We prayed for everyone in NYC – the first responders, the hospital staff, the families searching for their lost loved ones. It is a day that will be in my memory forever.

  4. Lois Rotella
      · September 11th, 2012 at 7:47 pm · Link

    I still find it hard to believe even though I live in Manhattan. I remember walking home and seeing the smoke coming from the fires and could not believe the live that were lost and the building gone. I stopped at a church and prayed. It still gets to me even after 11 years. I worked with a woman who lost her cousin the the trade center buildings. It was such a terrible lost to all. :(

    • Lois Rotella
        · September 11th, 2012 at 7:50 pm · Link

      I also remember JFK death. I remember I was in 7th grade and it came over the loud speakers and we all stopped and prayed for him and his family. All the parents meet us at school and were so quiet and couldn’t to get us all home and safe. It was so said.

  5. Anne
      · September 11th, 2012 at 7:57 pm · Link

    From your lips to God’s ear.

  6. Karen
      · September 11th, 2012 at 8:31 pm · Link

    Fitting tribute to a horrific day. I too remember JFK getting shot and where I was at the time. These events are etched in one’s memory forever.

  7. Joyce
      · September 11th, 2012 at 11:00 pm · Link

    I was teaching school when JFK was shot. I was teaching a Health Class and a worker from the school office came in my room and told the class that JFK had been shot. My class was 7th graders but I still remember their reaction to the news. Like the other comment on 9/11 I received a phone call for a prayer chain and was told of the Twin Towers and I could hardly believe it. I then drove to my daughter’s in Northern Kentucky and when I got there we went out to eat and I told my her I felt guilty being able to enjoy her and my granddaughter when so many people were hurting that day. It was so difficult to believe that this could happen in America.

  8. Kathie Loy
      · September 12th, 2012 at 12:10 am · Link

    There are few things one clearly remembers about world events but those are two the are embedded in my brain like a silent movie. I remember standing in front of the TV at 10 years old and watching the horror of JFK being shot, and then Bobby Kennedy soon after. Almost identically standing in front of the TV that fateful morning in 2011 and watching the first tower go down and getting to work to see the second. So much senseless tragidy, never to be forgotten. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

    • linda
        · September 12th, 2012 at 8:11 pm · Link

      Amen to that, Sister!

  9. sam
      · September 12th, 2012 at 4:21 am · Link

    Linda, my son(who is 12 years old) has been learning all about the nine eleven disaster at school, and we have been watching the documentaries at home.He can not understand why people would hurt each other like that and I found it hard to explain when I too can not get over why people do this to each other.Your words reflect how we feel, and we too will not forget.

  10. Cheryl Zumbro
      · September 12th, 2012 at 9:40 am · Link

    I was in elementary school in Northport. We were in the library when Mitch came in to tell us what had happened with JFK. For 9/11, I was going to my job at a school in Spokane. That day after school, I went to my local t-shirt maker and bought a shirt that had an Eagle on it and said “Proud to be an American”. I had them put the date “9-11-01” on it and I have proudly worn it every 9-11 since, including yesterday, and many other days too. I love Toby Keith’s and Alan Jackson’s songs commemorating the day. Thanks for remembering!

    • linda
        · September 12th, 2012 at 8:08 pm · Link

      I had a crush on your cousin (brother?), Phil. Cute!

  11. Hilda
      · September 12th, 2012 at 11:18 am · Link

    Thank you for the wonderful remembrance. Ever since my Mom died when I was 19, I’ve come to realize that God has a plan, and it’s a greater plan than mere mortals can understand or anticipate. It’s a perfect plan. Good things can come from bad things. We shouldn’t think we are entitled to understand everything, because we won’t. I pray for this country every day, and I am proud to be an American, albeit a naturalized one!
    May God bless and restore America.

    • linda
        · September 12th, 2012 at 8:11 pm · Link

      Hilda, we all came from somewhere else. That’s the beauty of being American!

      • Hilda
          · September 13th, 2012 at 10:50 am · Link

        Oh cool, I thought you were born in Washington State. What country were you born in?

  12. Gloria
      · September 12th, 2012 at 12:30 pm · Link

    I was at work on this horrible day and people started coming in and buying flags. I told the manager that something had happened, and we turned on a radio and found out the un-thinkable had occured.

    The only thing I could do was pray and order more flags so Americans could show their feelings to the world by flying our flag for all to see.

  13. BF Routledge-Hunt
      · September 12th, 2012 at 8:21 pm · Link

    Well I remember this day for my Birthday is the same day and isn’t sad that everyone you tell it is your birthday, they say “I am sorry how do you feel about 9/11”. AT first, I was sad for about 5 years and didnot celebrate my birthday but after that I refuse to give the terroist any kind of happiness for doing an evil deed on 9/11. I celebrate my birthday right after the 9 am broadcast of rememberence for again it is my day to be happy, young and free and thank my momma for having me. So if you guys also remember that there are people who have been born on this day and we had it first the terroist are dead last for what goes around comes around. May GOD BRING HIS JUSTICE TO THESE KILLERS. ALSO MAY ALLAH BRING HIS JUSTICE TO THESE DISTORTORS OF THEIR FAITH.

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