On Sept. 11, 2001, I was assistant editor at a small, three-day a week newspaper in Ohio. It was my day off. My husband and I slept in.
My husband got ready faster than I did and turned on the TV. “You better come down here,” he yelled from the bottom of the stairs. “A plane just rammed into the World Trade Center in New York City.”
Thinking he was playing a joke on me, I went down and watched as a second plane crashed into the other World Trade Center Tower. I think it was the first time I cried while watching TV.
I went into work mode and helped coordinate efforts to get stories. It turned out, a few community members had family member or friends who died in the terror attacks.
The area daily newspaper received the Associated Press’ permission for my paper to use wire photos and stories. It was the first time the small community newspaper covered something outside of the county. I took care in organizing the stories and photos. I put my best effort into that edition. We all did.
Five years later, our first child — Mountain Kid 1 — was born. A child, like majority of those in public schools, who only knows of the attacks through stories and history books.
We visited the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pa., several years ago. Mountain Kid 3 definitely didn’t know what was going on. The other kids played along the wood and stone oblivious to the tragedy that happened in 2001. At certain points, they’d stop. We’d tell them what happened in this sacred spot.
To be honest, I don’t know if they understood. But now that they’re older, they know now. Patriot Day isn’t the same for them. They didn’t see the news unfold. They didn’t see all the flags come out on Sept. 12, 2001. It’s something that happened a long time ago to them. It’s part of my story.
I’m attaching a gallery of photos I’ve taken from various Sept. 11th events throughout the years. Some have smiling faces. Others are solemn. And some have no faces at all, just memories.