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How Do You ‘Observe’ The 9/11 Anniversary?

One World Trade Center
Mario Tama/Getty Images

CJ brought it to my attention that I will be doing the morning show on September 11, the anniversary of the terror attacks on the United States of America.

That brought me to start thinking about what I went through on that day, and how most people observe the anniversary.

On September 11, 2001, I was watching the morning news when the North Tower was hit and, at the time, we thought that it was just an airplane “accident”.  I was on the road and almost at work when news came of the second building being hit, along with the realization that these were not accidents.


World Trade Center September 11 2001
Craig Allen/Getty Images


First, it was the North Tower, then the South Tower.  Just when we thought it was over, it was the Pentagon, and then a field in Pennsylvania.


Alex Wong/Getty Images


For the rest of that day, and for many days after, we were glued to the radio and television, trying to get as much information about the incident as possible, sighing collectively in relief when more survivors are reunited with their loved ones, crying together when more “names” are announced.


Angels of Freedom Memorial
Roger Kerekes/Getty Images


This year marks the twelfth year since the attacks and, to me, they still seem unreal.

This leads me to ponder how to approach this year’s anniversary of the attacks:  do we try to honor the lives of the heroes who gave their all trying to rescue those in peril?  Do we concentrate on ways to prevent attacks in the future?  Do we read the names and life stories of those who perished on the hijacked planes?  Do we pray for eternal damnation for those who planned and carried out the attacks?


New York City Firefighters - WTC Retrospective
Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect


One thing about ‘human nature’ that amazes me is how differently people react to events, and how we “observe” them upon the anniversary.  Some will be mourning those lost, some will be celebrating those who were able to escape the World Trade Center buildings before the collapse; some will be thinking of the now sacred ground in Pennsylvania; some will (again) be making a pilgrimage to the One World Trade Center’s memorial site.  Some will be remembering the charred, twisted section of the Pentagon that was damaged, lives lost, during the attacks; some will hold tightly to their young children, hoping that they never have to experience what we experienced as a country, as one people, on September 11, 2001.


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