Remembering 9-11

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I wrote the following piece in 2010, but the sentiment is the same today.

Bin Laden has since been found and killed, and while grateful, I take no comfort in a terrorist meeting his fate at the hands of Seal Team 6.

This issue is simple for me: Don’t fuck with me or mine, and by mine, I mean my country, my people, my family.

If you dare to ignore the American Spirit that still resides in us, you do so at your peril.

Say the words nine eleven and most everyone the world over knows the day you are referencing.

Say the words nine eleven and most folk’s faces will cloud.

Say the words nine eleven and there’s still a visceral anger that so few words can provoke in Americans.

I remember exactly where I was that morning, as I know many of you do.

I also remember where my husband was that morning: in Manhattan, blocks from the Towers, on business.

We were lucky; he came home to us.

Today, I try not to dwell on the blow by blow of events because it still has the emotional force to bring me to my knees. What I do dwell on is the loss of life. I dwell on the enemy that still, to this very moment, wants our heads and will not be satisfied until they have it. I dwell on protecting my own, and yours, because in America we are brothers and sisters in this fight.

You are mine just as if we were related by blood, which I consider us to be.

As I rooted around facebook this morning, people posted where they were that morning and what they remembered.

It’s a gut-check.

There’s not one American life that hasn’t been affected by that day.

We live in a new world; a world many of us don’t recognize nor comprehend, but must face.

A currently serving Marine officer and one of my badassier friends, left this status update on his wall:

September 11, 2001: Islamic jihadists around the world will never forget their victory on this day – and neither should we.  Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Si vis pacem, para bellum: If you wish for peace, prepare for war.

I couldn’t have said it better.

We’re a peace-loving people, but we are also a people who will fight to the death to protect one another, to protect our freedom.

Yet, many of my brothers and sisters believe that if we make nice, if we capitulate to the extremists, they will see our extended branch of love and accept our differences.

It’s a fairy tale.

Does the playground bully back down once you’ve handed over your lunch money?

After taking what is yours, does he decide to live in peace and harmony with you, or is he emboldened when you bend to his will?

Smaller scale, same concept. Extremists will never stop.

Hell, if they’ll kill their own (and they do), what makes us special?

Not a damned thing.

It’s a lesson many of us refuse to learn, refuse to see, because we like to believe the best of folks.

My anger is as fresh as that horrible day nine years ago. I want justice. God help me, I want revenge.

These people came to our house and killed our children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends, leaving the lives of those left behind in shambles.

Even though I pray for forgiveness to this day, my tiny sinful human heart, my heart that was broken into so many pieces that day, wants revenge.

I propose that if Bin Laden is ever captured alive, that we sell $1 tickets to those who want to take a swing at him with a baseball bat. Once he’s been beaten, we nurse him back to health and start all over again, until everyone who wants a piece of him is satisfied.

Horrifying, isn’t it?

Yet, it’s still not as horrifying as people jumping to their deaths because they felt that was the better way to die that morning, or losing the lives of first responders in the stairwells as they rushed in to help, or understanding that people were trapped in the Towers knowingly making their last phone calls to loved ones.

It’s still not as horrifying as children losing their parents at the hands of hate-filled terrorists, or never having a chance as planes, packed with our brothers and sisters, flew into buildings, crashed straight into the ground in Pennsylvania, or plowed into the Pentagon.

It’s still not as horrifying as those who had the job to sift through the rubble looking, praying, for something to offer the families left behind.

My Christian faith calls me to forgiveness; I’m a work in progress.

What I do know is this: I pray for peace (Dear God in heaven, grant us peace), but I prepare for, and will not back down from, a war of their making.

Never Forget.


Please feel free to leave your thoughts on your 9-11 experiences in the comments.


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  1. Julia @ It's Always Ruetten says

    Thank you for posting this. It is so important that we never forget. I appreciate your emotion in this. In remembrance

    • Thank you for that. I agonized over whether or not to leave such raw emotion (and the nsfw words!) within the body, but decided I couldn’t change it. So really, thank you.

  2. I will never forget where I was that day. I will never forget the horror and the sadness I felt. I will never forget that in a matter of moments, my children’s innocence was taken away as well. It’s a very different world that my kids now are growing up in versus the one of my childhood. Bless the heroes. They are an inspiration to all of us everywhere.

    • I often think of the unsung heroes of that day, as well. Husband was the recipient of kindness, as well as offering what help he could. I am thankful that when push came to shove, people banded together and took care of what they could, even if it was just in their own little corner of the world. Thanks for the comment, Michelle.

  3. Kristina & Millie says

    Beautiful, thank you!

  4. Jeannie and Linda says

    The 9/11 Tribute is so touching, no, we should never forget that day. I remember it like it was yesterday, I worked forh the government in Washington DC, and I’ll never forget the fear of the unknown that day. May God bless all of those who lost loved ones, and the many heros of that day.

    • I don’t think I could forget if I tried, and like you the memories are as vivid as if it happened yesterday. I can’t imagine what you went through, but the fear of the unknown is something we all shared. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Every year on the anniversary of the attacks, we are reminded of the sadness and loss of that day. I think it is very important to also remember the spirit of defiance that brought Americans together, determined not to let the terrorists win. We need the kind of anger that your writing expresses. We need it to show the world that we are strong. We may, probably will, face more attacks but we have to show that we are fiercely committed to freedom. Always.

    • I struggled with the anger in this post, but my response was and still is angry and like you, think it’s needed and can be useful. Thank you for seeing that. And thank you for coming here to share.

  6. JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose says

    I truly admire your posting this piece. And I am thankful for you and your family that your husband came home. My heart aches for everyone involved in the chaos of that day, most esp the folks that lost their loved one (s). I too feel anger that, to this day, SOME things have not changed (such as what happened in Boston) May God bless the USA, now and forever!

    • I’m a marathoner, and the bombing there made me as sick as 9-11. And I felt the same anger. How do you reason with hate so deep it is hell bend on killing? You don’t. You answer it with might. Thank you for your thoughts on the post. I appreciate that it resonates with some, and hoping it doesn’t offend others.

  7. Si vis pacem, para bellum: If you wish for peace, prepare for war!! Great line for a great post! Thank you for saying it!!

  8. Anger is appropriate when it prompts action. We took action, and though it doesn’t heal the anger, it restores our power over our lives. I was in DC and found out about the attacks when my sister-in-law called from Georgia to make sure her brother, my husband, wasn’t working in the Pentagon that day. He was not, but he could see the smoke from his office building when the Pentagon was struck. I felt the same way the newscasters did when the towers collapsed, sick at the horror of all those still left in the towers as they were falling. I’m so glad your husband is ok, but ache for those who were not.

    • Yes, our righteous anger was appropriate. Your story made me grateful all over again that so many people were not where they usually were (in the Towers, in the Pentagon). I’m glad your is safe, but like you, ache for those who never made it home.

  9. I too did a post on Remembering 911 and am still saddened by what happened that day. There are some events that I cannot bring myself to talk about because of the heart wrenching sorrow for those who were trapped inside. Be safe.
    I found you through the Fun in Functional Link Party where I have the following projects linked; Spooky Halloween Card and Subway Art Printable, would love it if you’d stop by too.
    Hugs, antonella 🙂

  10. Amen!


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