Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Must Never Forget

As another anniversary of 9/11 passes, I can't help remembering where I was that day.  My son had just been born 13 days earlier and that sunny morning, I had been getting him fed, changed and dressed for a pediatrician appointment at 9:30.  My husband burst in the door shortly after 9:00 a.m. and exclaimed, "We're under attack, put on the TV."  Horrified, I watched video of the planes hitting both towers.

It is hard to believe those towers are gone.  I had only been there twice, once 37 years ago on an 8th grade field trip and once two years before 9/11.  In 1999, my then boyfriend took me to Manhattan for the weekend where he proposed.  We had visited the World Trade Center on that trip and had been at the top of one of the towers.

The TV was on in the pediatrician's office, everyone was silent, watching in disbelief as this tragedy fully unfolded.  When we got back home, my mother called and said that my brother had not heard from his college roommate Harry.  Harry's real name was Mike Benfante (they called him Harry for Harry Bellafante in college) and he worked in the North Tower.  Shortly before the tower fell, we learned that Harry had called his father, didn't really have time to talk but was going down the stairs out of the building.  He didn't know exactly what was going on, but knew he needed to get out.  Harry did get out.  We later learned that he and a co-worker, on their way down from the 81st floor, encountered a woman in a wheelchair.  They carried her down 68 floors and made it out just minutes before the North Tower collapsed.  I read his book last year in an afternoon just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and I could not put it down. 

For the first time this past spring, my husband, sons and I visited the 9/11 Memorial.  We had not been to New York City since that trip in 1999.  I didn't recognize the area.  They have done a beautiful job on the memorial and I found it to be a peaceful place, yet the knowledge of why it was there made me sad. We read the names on the memorial and marveled at the Freedom Tower.  

But one thing my husband and I noticed was that in all the silence, every few minutes we would hear the sound of a plane passing by and it really surprised us that they were flying so close to the buildings.  A security guard told us that there were now safeguards in place to make sure the planes didn't get too close, but it was eerie just the same.

We lost many heroes on September 11, 2001.  We also saw selfless acts of bravery along with the coming together of our nation.  Throughout these 11 years post 9/11, we have seen many more heroes, those defending our country and giving their lives in the ultimate sacrifice.  We must never forget these brave people. We must honor the memories of those lost and we must honor the people we love that are here now.  We must never take any day for granted, we never know when our time is up.  Live each day to the fullest and love our families and friends with all our hearts.  Never forget...


  1. Beautiful post. I had never been to NYC until this past year in July and the only reason I wanted to visit was to see the Freedom Tower and the Memorial.

    It was eerily peaceful and beautiful and like you I was surprised by the planes overhead. It actually took me totally off guard.

    After reading your post I think I'll have to check out the book your brothers friend wrote.

    Thanks for your post.

    1. The book is an excellent read. I am so inspired by what he did, yet he still struggles to this day from the trauma of that day. Thank you for your comments.