Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

It was Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and I was sitting in my office working while listening to the Neal Boortz radio show out of Atlanta. I recalled sometime earlier that morning how blue the sky was and how perfect a day it would likely be. Suddenly I received a call from a coworker that a plane had accidentally flown into one of the WTC towers. I thought that to be highly unusual and then I heard the news on Boortz's show that a second plane had hit. It was at that time that I became suspicious it was more than just an accident.

I ran to the conference room next door where the large television was already plugged in, turned on and tuned in to ABC news. Most of my coworkers were already gathered there. We were shocked to see what was happening in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Rumors were flying, people were asking questions and nobody grasped the reality of what was happening. And then suddenly out of nowhere, the first tower collapsed and I felt sick to my stomach and just gasped in awe. When the second one went down I wept and was in shock at the many people whose lives had just been snuffed out in an instant.

There we were, about fifty of my coworkers gathered around the table in the conference room which was standing room only, watching these events unfold on what had started off as a perfect day in America. All you could hear were the near silent gasps because that's all anyone was able to emit at that moment. I will never forget how shocked and scared I was at that moment because none of us knew the extent of destruction nor did we know what was to come next or when.

Among those killed in the attacks was my cousin Sheryl Rosner Rosenbaum. Sheryl and I were the same age and shared the same ancestry--our great grandmothers Yetta Unger Hershkowitz and Becky Unger Rosner were sisters and Romanian immigrants. Sheryl was a kind person with a wonderful life. She was a loving daughter to her parents and two brothers, devoted wife and mother of two small children, Hannah who was 3 years old at the time and Sam who was just 17 months. She loved her job as accountant/partner/Vice President at Cantor Fitzgerald. Everyone loved Sheryl.

Sheryl was on the 105th floor of the North Tower when it collapsed.

For Sheryl's family and friends, life will never be the same. How on earth do you cope with the loss? The anger, the sadness, the reminder every single day of every single year. So sad is that her two beautiful children will never really know their mother. However, I believe out of everything bad comes something good. The lives Sheryl touched will touch others and so on. Every person has an impact and Sheryl's impact will no doubt be felt for a very long time.

In the meantime, while we still mourn the loss of family and friends, how do we deal with the fact that our loved ones were killed because of an ideology?

Two hundred thirty years ago, thousands of Americans, both military and civilian, male and female, black, white, and native American, sacrificed their lives to forge a free America. Today, that very freedom is threatened by terrorists who wish to eradicate freedom and force us to submit to a radical political and religious ideology. In memory of Sheryl and all those who have lost their lives to terrorist attacks in America and around the world and in memory of those who gave their lives fighting for freedom and liberty in America and all over the world, we owe it to all of them to never forget their sacrifices, never give in to terrorists, and never give up on freedom.


  1. Anonymous9/11/2006

    Beautiful post, Jess! I think every person in America can remember what we were doing when we first heard the tragic news. I was getting ready to go shopping with Lauren for fall clothes. My mom called to tell me because we rarely have the television on. I can't even begin to describe the sick feeling in my stomach when the towers came down. It seemed like a horrible nightmare and still makes me cry to think about it. We didn't go shopping that day. We spent it in front of the television crying and praying for the victims, their families, and the rescue workers. Who can forget their valiant service to our country?--ST

  2. I also remember exactly what I was doing that morning. Dad and I were watching GMA and Charlie Gibson, when all of a sudden he interrupted what he had been talking about to announce that something was happening at the WTT's and they cut to the live video. ALl you could see was smoke coming from the first tower. Everyone thought it was an accident, as you did, until we saw the second play fly into the tower. It was so surreal, like watching some disaster film, but we knew this was all too real. dad and I looked at each other and we were speechless, we just could not speak. I pray that we won't be attacked again, but I also know at the same time that we will, somewhere in the US, at some time in the future it will happen again. I think to myself, "I'm glad we live in a small town, they would never hit us here", but that doesn't make it any better does it?
    We're all living here together. None of us have done anything to warrant another attack by these individuals whose very life is dedicated to our downfall. It scares me to think how completely different the world is today, compared to life only a few years ago. I worry about my children and feel angry that they have to live in a world such as this.