Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering

Looking forward to a day at Disney's Magic Kingdom, my Sister and I, on one of my many trips to Florida, were traveling up Interstate 4 towards Orlando.

Full of plans on which parts of the park we could go to first, where we would eat lunch, where was best to shop, we thought nothing of the outside world. We thought nothing much of the break in the radio to inform of a plane hitting the World Trade Center in NYC, besides declaring it a terrible accident, and feeling for anyone injured or killed.

We processed through the entrance to Disney - eager to soak up the atmosphere, to feel that magic that even at almost 30, still made me tingle with childlike excitement. I was keen to see parts of the park that I had missed the first time I visited, so we decided to move around in a counter-clockwise route. We had managed to take in all of Main St USA, and some of Tomorrowland and had made our way back to the Cinderella's Castle when the great booming voice came over the public address system:

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Walt Disney Parks are now closing. Please proceed immediately to the nearest exit".

My Sister and I, as puzzled as everyone else, waited a few moments. The message was repeated and we knew we hadn't misheard. We made our way to the exits - so disappointed and very confused. Yes there were clouds in the sky, but nothing threatening. No mention on the weather reports of a looming hurricane that might shut down the parks. What on earth could cause Disney to close?

On our way out through the gates, I asked a security officer what the problem was she said 'I can't tell you much Ma'am. All I can say is that America has been targeted in a terrorist attack, and I mean a major terrorist attack'.

Heading back to the car park on the ferry it dawned on me that this was probably something to do with that plane crash. Nothing could have prepared us for the news we heard on the radio as we both traveled to what is now my home, stunned.

Stunned at the enormity of this heinous act - on hearing that a second plane had hit and one building had collapsed. Stunned at the fear, panic and loss suffered by those in those buildings. Fear, panic and loss echoed by loved ones not in the buildings.

I cried for most of the rest of that day as we sat with the rest of the world and watched coverage of what happened. As I thought of families scrambling for news of their fathers, sisters, mothers, daughters, brothers, my heart was breaking. How much worse must it have been to be those families?

On this, the first time that September 11th has fallen on a Tuesday, as in 2001 I remember all those people setting off on a day like every other. I remember the men, women and children who died at the hands of evil in those buildings and on the planes. I remember the sacrifice of heroes setting out to save them. I remember the families left behind to pick up the pieces and carry on without them.

I remember, too, my responsibility as a parent to raise loving, compassionate and tolerant children. To instill in them a respect for all human life and ensure that they carry no extreme religious or political baggage. To ensure that they are part of a better generation in which they can continue to pursue peace in this world, and make sure that this never happens again.

I remember.

17 comments:

~JJ! said...

Wonderful.

Life As I Know It said...

Great post.
A day that bubbles up strong emotions for everyone. I too remember every detail of that morning, that day, that week. I was pregnant with my son and all of a sudden so unsure of the state of the world.
Lots of extra hugs today.

Sarah said...

Excellent and wise words, Annie.

Megan/ Velveteen Mind said...

I got that sinking feeling, the chill at the back of my neck, while reading the words of the security guard.

It never occurred to me that Disney would close that day. Of course they would. A fascinating story.

Smiling Mom said...

Me too. I remember. I was teaching. I just posted about it too. I swear it is like it happened yesterday for me.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

I remember too.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Great post, Annie. I got chills reading. Remembering.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I forgot about the theme parks closing that day. I almost forgot about all the planes being grounded and people waiting days in airports to get home. I can't forget the image of those buildings collapsing, though.

Oh, The Joys said...

It was a terrible day.

This is a great tribute post, too.

andi said...

Wonderful post, Annie. And amen to the sentiments in the last paragraph. May we all keep that in mind along with the memory of all the brave people lost that day.

Annette Lyon said...

Wonderful post. This year felt more like a "real" anniversary to me, and I think you pegged why--it was a Tuesday. It feels so recent, and yet my youngest wasn't even born yet, and my oldest, who was in first grade at the time, is now in junir high. I can't fathom it, because the world is so different now, and my outlook has changed, too. Yet time keeps marching on.

pinks & blues girls said...

Wow, that must have been so surreal, going to Disney World (such a happy place) and being greeted by those words. I don't think I cried that first day... I think I was still just in such shock.

Thank you for sharing your 9/11 story. It's amazing how we ALL remember the exact events and our exact thoughts from that day.

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

Candace said...

beautiful.

Sarah said...

I remember too Annie. My first trip to florida/america! The Sarah McLachlan song Angels always reminds me of 9/11 - remember the radio played it over there all the time with the clips of the 911 calls. I can remember that announcement in disney like it was yesterday!

Annie said...

I want to cry remembering that song Sarah.

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

Such a wide range of emotions all in a short span of time.
Thanks for sharing. (Sorry so late, too!)

shauna said...

Your post is a great tribute to 9/11.