Remembering September 11

Ten years ago today, I was home with my three little ones. My husband was driving in to work…in the center of Washington DC. I was cleaning up after breakfast and listening to the radio when the first reports of planes hitting the World Trade Center started coming in.

I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of what was happening to our world that morning as I stopped my cleaning to listen to the news reports. As the news became more and more grim regarding New York City, I hugged my kids closer to me, unable to pull myself away from the radio.

When I heard that the Pentagon had also been hit, I immediately thought of my husband, who would have been driving close to the Pentagon to get to work. I didn’t know if he was safe, if he was coming home, or when I’d be able to talk to him.

Before he made it home (it took him hours to navigate the traffic), I heard an unfamiliar noise outside my house. For the rest of the day, and into the evening, the sounds of fighter jets circling the skies above my neighborhood haunted me. We just happen to live in the flight path between Washington DC and Camp David. The sight and sounds of the jets did not bring me any comfort.

My son was born in early 2001 and his birthday, though not in September, reminds me each year of that fateful day in September 2001 when terrorists tried to break our country. When my son turned 10 this year, I could not believe that 10 years had passed since the terrorist attacks of 9-11.

Today we remember 9-11. But I chose not to remember the fear, the confusion, the anger. Instead, I am remembering the courage shown, the compassion, the sacrifice, and the pride.

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

~ Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl

How do you remember September 11?

Often, on holidays we open up a linky to share our posts and pictures. Today is not a holiday, but it IS a day of remembrance, and we would appreciate hearing everyone’s stories and reflections on what September 11 means to you. Please keep your posts respectful. Thanks!


Written by 5 Minutes for Mom managing editor Lolli. You can find me blogging at Better in Bulk and tweeting at @1momof5.


The World Trade Center photo is part of a “Looking into the Past” series by Jason E. Powell on flickr (creative commons). It is a fascinating series of photos looking back on 9-11.


  1. says

    I was going about my busy-Mommy-to-2-little-guys life when my Grandmother broke into the phone conversation I was having with my Mom. I flipped from Rolie Polie Olie to a news station, and within moments saw the 2nd tower hit. My boys don’t remember that day, but they understand why we remember our fallen countrymen with respect and solemnity. For that I’m thankful.

  2. Jennie says

    I have a pic my mom took of the WTC on 9.8.2001 as they left NY harbor on a cruise. 3 short days laters – no towers. The picture haunts me – and it helps me remember. I was at work – we worked as a federal contractor administering the military healthcare program in the TExas area.

  3. says

    I was getting ready to be substitute teacher in a first grade classroom in upstate NY. The teacher I was in for was coming back from a wedding in Germany. Suddenly before the kids came into the room, news came out of NYC. As a newlywed, I instantly thought about my father-in-law and husband’s best friend that worked in NYC. The principal in the building was amazing. He gave each of us time to get to a phone to call relatives to try to get answers. The week was a blur. My graduate classes that night were canceled and suddenly I was thrust into a week of teaching with no plans. We had to have counselors come into the classroom to reassure the kids that the teacher they did not know was fine. Her plane was stopped in Canada and stranded for days after coming across the Atlantic. It was a day I will never forget. Each time that we drive in NYC the view without the towers hits hard. Now I try to remember 9/11 with the pride of this country. The people that came together to help others. The endless flags flying. We need to bring back this spirit today and beyond. Soon I have to try to explain this day to my boys who were born after this day in history.

  4. says

    Thank you for sharing a linky… it’s a great place to see what everyone was doing and unite as a country.
    It must have been so scary and comforting at the same time to hear all those planes overhead all day. To know what happened, but to know that you were protected by the strongest country in the world at the same time.
    God bless your family and America.

  5. says

    I was in school when it happened, but I remember it was chaotic and so sad. Everyone was crying.
    I couldn’t imagine having to hear those planes, poor you!

  6. says

    I was at work in a daycare that day, and could not turn off the little TV I had in our room. I should have, but couldn’t bring myself to take my eyes off the tragedy. It was too important of a day to turn my back on.

    That picture is so powerful, and amazing,

  7. says

    This year’s remembrance of 9/11 has been much harder for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the concern that another act of terrorism was planned. Praise God, so far nothing like that has happened. And it has been a peaceful day with much prayer and much remembering. I’m looking forward to a special telecast tonight at 7pm EST, available online, by Anne Graham Lotz tonight, which seems particularly appropriate since her father, Billy Graham, was such a blessing to us all after 9/11/01. Thank you for this special post today.