Single Parent Faith

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflections of 9-11

Ten years ago, on the morning of September 11, I drove my daughter to school, kissed her good-bye and went on my way to work, business as usual.  I turned on the radio and unlike a typical news day, this morning there was a heaviness clinging to the air, confusion among reporters as they speculated why a hijacked American Airlines Flight #11 out of Boston would plummet into the World Trade Center’s North Tower. This occurred at 8:46 a.m.  

In Texas, some 1700 miles away, listening to this shocking news stirred fear in me. It just doesn’t happen this way, a major airliner slamming into a skyscraper in a densely populated city. Instead of heading into work, I drove back home and turned on CNN. I was glued there for hours.

Aghast, I watched as the South Tower was hit at 9:02 a.m.

Speculation at this point was still mixed. From station to station opinions varied as to whether this was the hand of terrorism. The conclusion wasn’t broadcast publicly until the other events transpired, such as American Airlines flight #77 which crashed into the Pentagon at 9:43 a.m.

I called work to tell them I wouldn’t be coming in that day. It just didn’t feel right to drive into a defense plant while the events were still unfolding and the scope of the attacks was still unknown. The FAA made a bold (this has never been done in the history of aviation) and sound move to shut down national air space. It was a nervous period waiting for all the remaining flights still in transit, to reach their destination, to confirm if we’d seen the worse.

I called several co-workers who were working business as usual, and didn’t seem phased by this. I wondered if they were like Dr. Zeus’ Lemmings. Perhaps they felt too far removed from the incidents. Not me. This is my city…New York City.  And though I may live in Texas now, it will always be my city. Of course with my parents there, I was concerned for them, especially since I couldn’t get through to them by phone.

Rapid fire through my mind rushed images of the several visits my daughter and I have made to the Twin Towers. They were not only a NYC landmark and part of the awesome skyline, they were part of our NYC memories. I imagine there are millions of Americans and visitors across the globe, with their own personal attachment to the Towers, who have felt the impact of such an attack. 

Now I don’t regret buying the staged picture with the faux Towers as backdrop, which they made all visitors pose for as we waited on line for the observation deck. Back then I knew it as a commercial ploy to sell merchandise, but this solemn day forced me to find the photo and display it proudly on my mantle. 

On July 4, 2001, Just 2 months prior to the devastation, my daughter and I along with some friends, visited the Twin Towers.  We were in the South Tower’s 107th floor indoor observation deck, seated on benches in front of the huge windows. The kids preferred this vantage point rather than outside on the 110th floor’s rooftop observation deck. The plan was to stay there long enough to watch the fireworks on the Hudson River.

I felt ill at ease. I had “what if” thoughts running through my mind. It didn’t elude me that it was our American Independence day, a highly celebrated event with many crowds, and we were essentially captive at the top floor of this iconic symbol. I recalled when on February 26, 1993, a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower, inside the parking garage. I had a sense that if an attack was perpetrated once, that it could likely happen again. And of all days, why not the 4th of July? What better day than a day when Americans celebrate “freedom?”

I couldn’t idly stand by pretending this wasn’t a concern of mine. I managed to convince the others that we should leave.

A little over 2 months later, at 9:59 a.m., that same South Tower, now burning, collapses.

I watched on TV, in utter disbelief. It feels so surreal when the largest skyscrapers in the world, suddenly vanish before your eyes. When you realize the very floor that we took for granted, which securely supported us and millions others, has given way and everything that was, is now vaporized. This is something you see in science fiction movies, not in reality.

We were just there, what if it had happened then? I remembered back to the feelings of impending doom, which I had during my last visit.

At 10:28 a.m. the North Tower collapses.

The horror of it all. The beautiful sacred lives lost.

A plume of destruction blanketed the site where the World Trade Center Towers once stood. The utter devastation of life lost in this sudden (yet planned) act of terrorism, creates a scale of loss that’s hard to take in. Each life precious and unique, may we remember them and the countless first responders who lost their lives in a valiant attempt to save lives.

May their beautiful souls rest in peace. 

Let us not forget the approximately 3,000 Americans who perished on that fateful day, nor let us forget the countless others who have perished throughout the globe because of terrorism. They too are our brothers and sisters. 

Despite the terrorism that reared its ugly head on our American soil that September 11, and which continues to taunt and victimize innocents throughout the world today, we must not live paralyzed in fear.

Instead, let us live our lives in a manner that makes a difference. Difference is only possible when we extend love.  Anything less than love does not honor life, nor the Creator of all life.  We can begin close at home with our families and friends, show them respect and honor their value. Every life has purpose, every life has value. Let’s extend beyond our homes, counties, cities, states, countries…and see the face of our Creator in everyone.

In the same way, even though we are many people, we are one body in the Messiah and individual parts connected to each other.” –Romans 12:5 (International Standard Version)

May God Bless you all, my brothers and sisters.

Ella Venezia
Copyright © 2011 Ella Venezia. All Rights Reserved.

I was inspired to write this post after:
Receiving an email from my daughter with this You-Tube link and
Reading Tor Constantino’s post in his blog the Dailey retort. Also he has invited comments and links to anyone who has written on this subject.  

Additional 9-11 Information:

Image Source:   ©All rights reserved by sfazli


  1. That's an incredible story Ella, thanks for sharing and for the kind mention of my blog. Have a blessed weekend!

  2. Tor- I appreciate your comment. I certainly enjoyed reading your post and was motivated by it to write this. I suppose it's supposed to work this way after all. We all spur each other on to good works.
    Have a Blessed weekend.

  3. Wow, I can't imagine how it must have rocked you with your love for New York. I was in AZ at the time, never having been to NYC yet, but I know we all felt a sense of loss and grief for a long time after. Still do when the media revisits the photos and footage. Thank you for sharing this perspective.


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