peacetraveler22: (Default)
peacetraveler22 ([personal profile] peacetraveler22) wrote2016-09-11 10:30 am

Нью-Йорк, 9/11


Today is the same as most recent years on LJ. Some Russian speaking blogger publishes a post about the 9/11 attacks, and everyone jumps in the comments to discuss conspiracy theories or the evil U.S. government, paying absolutely no attention to all the selfless rescue workers, fire fighters and ordinary citizens who sacrificed their lives to save others on that day. It is really what I, as an American, remember most about 9/11. On this point, I read a very disgusting comment by one person - "Я испытала очень смешанные чувства, когда прочитала, как четверо пожарных погибли, спасая по лестнице ожиревшую неходячую гражданку. По мне так не стОило это их жизней."

Last year, I wrote a post about my recollections of this moment in American history, and I publish it again below for those who have not yet read. I don't know how I would have responded if I was on the scene that day. Would I have been selfless enough to sacrifice my life to save another? I don't know, but like to think so...

Originally posted by [ profile] peacetraveler22 at Нью-Йорк, 9/11

On this day, there's always a very somber mood in the USA. Absolutely everyone from my generation remembers where they were when they first heard the news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center. Life in the USA was never the same again, even to this day. On the news this morning, I was reminded of how many years have passed - 14. It seems almost unimaginable that there's now a whole generation of kids who have no memories from that day. They were not even born, or were only small toddlers when the graphic images of the towers collapsing appeared on TV screens. Some of my readers who are in their early 20's probably only have vague recollections of this historic event also. But for others, including myself, there's no escaping these images or the fateful tragedies of so many lives that day.

On 11 September 2001, I was away from my family sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas. I was awakened in the early morning by a ringing phone, panic on the other end of the line from my cousin in Virginia informing me something bad was happening. At the time, I worked for United Airlines, which lost a lot of passengers and two aircraft in the attacks. Flights were grounded for days, and there was no way back to the East Coast. The only option was a rental car, but there was a long wait for those as well. On 13 September a rental car finally became available, and I began the long drive cross-country with two of my young relatives. We drove straight through, rotating drivers in an effort to quickly return to family and parents in Virginia.

Today there's a real sense of sadness. I'm grateful that I didn't live in my Arlington, Virginia apartment on this day in 2001. I would have seen and smelled the smoke rising from the Pentagon from my balcony. Maybe even heard the impact of the plane hitting the building. Such images and senses would remain scarred in my memory. Human life - fragile and uncertain. Days like today a clear reminder of this simple statement. In an instant, life can change or be taken away all together. Thus, it's always important to live life fully. No regrets. Appreciate those you love and care about, and make sure they know it.

I've always said that life is a series of "what ifs." On this day in 2001, many lives were spared due to common annoyances - a missed flight, traffic, a last minute errand which delayed arrival at work. We can never understand why some people are saved, and others taken. Perhaps it's divine intervention, fate, or simply luck. We will never know the answers.

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