Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

Im woken this morning by the beautiful powerful rays beaming into my room from the gorgeous sun in the September sky. Much as I love waking to the sun shinning. Today I wake with a very heavy heart. Heavy, because I know it is an exact replica morning of September 9th 2001.
How many woke on that morning full of the joys of live? Thinking about all they needed to do that day. Many lying beside their loved ones. Delighted to have them beside them, or in a room near by.Maybe being woken by tiny feet coming into the room looking for hugs cuddles and some breakfast!
Or those who woke alone, looking forward to meeting that special one in the near future. Dreaming of one day having a family of their own.
Of course their were many who wanted neither and were going about their lives surrounded by family and friends who loved them very much. One thing is for sure, every person Im talking about is being missed this morning.

I didnt know anyone who died on September 11th. Yet I wake this morning feeling like I lost someone very close to me. Im not sure why. Maybe because I live here now? No. Maybe because I used to vist the eyes of the world bar when working as a student back in 2000? No. Or maybe because I know so many good Americans? No. None of these reasons are sitting with me. I think its simply because I am a normal human being. It aches to think of so many dying through such horrible acts of evil. It aches that someone somewhere would plot to take another persons life. To take nearly 3,000 lives.
Not only did they take those lives, but also killed the soul of those who lost a loved one.

Im not all together sure why Im posting this blog. Its not meant as "thoughts of the day" piece. I think its because I need to share with others how sad I always feel on this day. To know Im not alone, and that although I wasn't directly affected, Its alright to be upset by what happened.

Flying in last night to New York, I looked out from my plane window and saw the New York skyline in the evening light.The setting sun was breaking through the clouds, and the rays were dispensed across the city. Like light through a stain glass window. Ive never claimed to be too holy. In truth I could be a lot better. However, when looking out that window, It really looked like God was shinning over New York last night. That all his attention was just on that city for a short while. Like he was checking in and confirming that despite it all, he was still there looking out for us.
I know many like I, were asking on that fateful morning, where was God at 8.47 am when evil took to town. Im sure many still do? Although I have no answer for myself still, I believe all that suffered are at peace now. That blaming God, the government, the intelligence agencies, the airlines etc. etc. None of it will change anything. That those who wish to cause harm on others will do so whether all the above are involved or not.

Again, I have no point to this blog. I just wanted to share how I am feeling this morning. That my thoughts are with all that died, and that all who survived, but still lost a piece of themselves on that morning.  That I pray for all who have been left behind aching and longing for the loved ones they lost.
I ache at the thought of never seeing my loved ones again, and not being able to say goodbye, or to tell them I loved them. So I cannot begin to imagine how so many (too many) are feeling this morning.

I think on September 11th 2001, we all lost a little light in our souls. The world has changed so much since then, and will never be the same.

May the souls of the departed rest in peace. May those who lost their loved ones find some peace, and may God protect us from ever experiencing anything like that again.
Let us never forget.

For now,
My loves
My Doves
My Eggs

Paul
x  

63 comments:

  1. Beautifully said. Thank you Paul !!!!

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  2. Paul,

    Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts on this day. Your American fans (no - really, all of your fans) appreciate that gesture so much. I didn't lose a loved one on 9/11 either, but like you I have a heavy heart today. America lost its innocence ten years ago today when terror struck on our own soil. It was a scary, scary day, one that I will never forget. Though this is a terrible anniversary, I hope that today may serve as a reminder of the sense of unity we all felt after the attacks -- and I pray that all Americans can put aside politics and partisan bickering and move forward together, as one people, one nation.

    Thank you again, Paul.

    LissaLynch

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  3. Beautiful and insightful. Thank you.

    Marie

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  4. Thank you Paul, very beautifully said. I did know two people, RADM Wilson "Bud" Flagg, USNR (Ret.) and his lovely wife Dee, who were on Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon. I think of them often, but especially today. My prayers are with their family and all those families of those who died on September 11, 2001.

    Vicky

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  5. Ten years of tears.
    It has been a turning point for all of us.
    While the terrorists were willing to end the lives of so many innocents, the passengers on flight 93 were willing to give their own lives to spare thousands of others in DC.
    God bless us all on this day of remembrance.

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  6. Not surprised to see a blog from you this morning Paul. And the thoughts and feelings you describe are similar to those so many of us are having this morning. I've been awake since 6 reliving in my mind what I was doing 10 yrs ago today. As you said it was a beautiful day & like all those that lost their lives that day I was going thru my normal routine getting ready for work. Unlike those we lost I ended my day still able to see and be seen by my loved ones. Today I feel like I have to pay tribute to those that were lost and to those that worked so hard to save all they could.

    The world is a profoundly different place as a result of a madman's actions. What he probably didn't expect was the response that was given that day. The world did not crumble to its knees. We picked ourselves up, mourned our loved ones, and carried on, proud and free.

    As always, thanks for your thoughts.

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  7. I know my life that day changed, am one of the lucky ones, my cousin works at the pentagon and that morning something told her to take a walk, where her office is was hit moments later and somehow she was safe. I know I will never forget where I was, or what I was doing when the news broke. My <3 is with all who were not as lucky as I.

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  8. Paul.. Thank-you for those beautiful words. Our hearts are broken today remembering 9/11/2001. We will never forget those lost, those left behind and those still fighting to keep us safe. Prayers for our continued healing. God Bless America.

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  9. Good Morning Paul. I thought you expressed your thoughts beautifully. I didn't lose anyone that day either but I felt it like I was there. It was a beautiful dau here in Tennessee and I was celebrating my birthday. It is a beautiful day today but I really no longer celbrate on this day. I try to do it on 9/10. So many people lost so much on that day. I lost a little faith in everything too. But even though I am chilled to the bone every 911, I have a newed sense of faith in God and people. We all came together to become a formidable foe to terrorism. And we win a little more every day. I still have my faith in God and I try not to question why. I know he had a reason and it is his own. Sorry for the ramble. Thank you so much for being the caring man you are. Paula Price

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  10. Thank You Paul this means a lot to me. Being from NY makes me proud and sad ..We will never forget..

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  11. As I listen to the names of those lost being read I can only wipe away the tears and try very hard to be mindful and grateful that there are still many, many kind and caring people in this world. Thank you for being one of them.

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  12. Thank you Paul. You have put words to what many of us are feeling today. There is an area of sadness right next to our hearts that will forever remain because of September 11.

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  13. Many hearts are aching Paul. Like you, I did not know anyone personally. I do remember watching the horrible events of that tragic morning unfold on TV. Watching the tribute this morning, the names being read ~and being read by the little children is especially heartbreaking. :_( I can only speak for myself in regards to my thoughts of any light being lost.. The darkness came, but through the darkness a light did shine, and it shone brighter and brighter with each and every one who came together to help each other...that's His love, His power which shines brighter than any dark shadow could ever attempt to engulf. In the end, it's not about us, it's about God, serving God and letting that servitude shine brightly by helping our fellow man. God bless you Paul, the families who lost loved ones, America, all of us. ..with hugs, Beth

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  14. "There are ways and ways of dying, and some of them leave us walking around." -Anna Quindlen, Black and Blue


    Simply beautiful Paul. I didn't know anyone who died in 9/11 either but as a person who has lost someone I know how empty it feels. And although time takes some of the sharpness of the pain away, it never fully leaves a person. When I was 28 I laid on the lawns of the World Trade Center and looked up marvelling at the grandness of it all. To think that it is gone now is unimaginable. I will be in NYC in two weeks for the Celtic Thunder show and will most certainly visit the site of the WTC. I pray that some peace has settled into the hearts of those affected and that as Americans we continue to remember with the intensity that we do now, all those who died too soon and all those who continue to live in the face of such loss.

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  15. I know my life that day changed, am one of the lucky ones, my cousin works at the pentagon and that morning something told her to take a walk, where her office is was hit moments later and somehow she was safe. I know I will never forget where I was, or what I was doing when the news broke. My <3 is with all who were not as lucky as I.

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  16. Thank you, Paul. This definitely is a terribly sad day, not only for NY,PA & Washington DC but for our entire country. It's still hard to fathom that terrorism reared it's ugly head in my home state of NY, especially in NYC. While it was so so sad to watch the WTC towers, which had graced the NYC skyline for many many yrs being attacked & then crumble to the ground it was even more so knowing all the people in those towers were killed. Today is my b'day but since 9/11/2001, it's had a different meaning for me. I pray for those lives lost & their families & friends. I pray that our country & world will be safe from anything like 9/11 ever happening again. I, for one, will NEVER FORGET. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

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  17. Thank you Paul, that was beautiful. I did know people who died that day, not just in the towers but in a field in Pennsylvania. My husband was there, worked rescue and recovery and is now the head foreman on the Freedom Tower. Thank you for posting this and letting us know that everyone feels the loss and pain. That we are not alone in our sorrow. God Bless, Red

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  18. Paul,

    It would have been very easy for you to go about your day today and not say anything. After all you are Irish and like you said, You didnt know anyone who died on September 11th.
    It is very apparent that your words came from your heart and soul. You didnt just "slap together" a short blog about 9/11 to appease your fans.
    On behalf of myself and anyone who chooses to agree with me, I give you what can only be the most sincere Thank You I have ever given someone I've never actually met.

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  19. Thank you, Paul. I know someone who escaped that day - his office was on the 24th floor of one of the Towers. There are some things he cannot talk about and still suffers from nightmares. Another friend's cousin was a First Responder that awful day. God bless all those affected & all those lost. May the Lord assist in the healing of those left behind... Never Forget!

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  20. I knew someone who worked at the World Trade Center. Her 5 yr old woke up the morning very sick and that saved her. She couldn't make it to work that day. There was a member of our church who also worked there. He never made it out. Personally I didn't lose anyone there but I hurt as a New Yorker and as an American for what was done here. I worked at the World Trade Center briefly about a yr before. Getting out of the subway & looking up at those two huge Towers was always something that left me in awe. Every morning that I would look up before going in. A yr later I was sitting in a classroom full of three yr olds. I was sitting with a little boy putting a puzzle together. I was in shock when I was told the news but couldn't react because of the kids. My heart will always hurt and mourn those horrific attacks to our nation. But we all came together and moved forward. We will never forget what happened but we will always keep moving forward.

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  21. Paul, thank you for putting into words what so many of us are feeling.

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  22. You do have a point to this blog, Paul...and you've made it lovingly and beautifully. Thanks for the kind thoughts about this fateful day in America.

    God bless you.
    ~Sue

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  23. Thank you, Paul. So beautifully stated and what so many feel. God bless you.

    -Sabrina

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  24. Thank you for putting into words what I'm feeling, but couldn't express, Paul. I was only eleven those ten years ago on that horrible day, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

    This blog post just proves how amazing of a man you truly are.

    -Amber

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  25. Thank you Paul for those wonderful words! I too was born in New York and I have a cousin who is a retired NY paramedic who was working that day. Thankfully he was in Brooklyn but he did work @ ground zero in the days and weeks after 9/11. I think you are a very spiritual loving man and I know God loves you and is proud of who you are!! Thank you again for remembering your new country.

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  26. Oh, thank-you Paul. I thinkthis is one of the most beautiful blogs you have ever written. (Are you sure you aren't moonlighting as a poet on the side?) Seriously as I read your blog I felt my heart breaking the way it did ten years ago as I sat in front of the tv in disbelief, and hopeing that it was nothing more than a bad dream. It means alot to me because that was the day that my brother was to leave to join the United States Navy-He went one week later. I'm kind of glad that your blog made me cry, because when you cry,your heart is still tender and you still feel. When someone hardens their heat, they can't feel anything and that is when they forget. Thank-you for reminding me of what is important.

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  27. I was in my classroom when another teacher came in and said that a plane had hit the WTC. I thought what a terrible accident. We came to realize that it was an attack, and our world would never be the same. We realized at that moment that we could not shield the students from what had happened, and they grew up fast! We had to wait until every student had been picked up, and it was after 6pm that night some of us got home. I remember just wanting to be home with my husband, and feeling a fear that encompassed every part of me.

    My mother who died 13 days later, was mostly unaware of what had happened. In one moment of lucidity said " I think the world is ending.". It was a blessing that she did not remember that the next moment. Her comment was correct, our world had ended. Never again would anyone be the same as they were before that fateful time,

    10 years still seems like yesterday, and the ache never goes away.

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  28. "I think on September 11th 2001, we all lost a little light in our souls. The world has changed so much since then, and will never be the same."

    That line just resonated all throughout me -- it is perfectly descriptive of what has happened to each of us.

    Thank you for blogging your thoughts, Paul. It is a treasure to know you.
    ~ Danna

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  29. I was beginning my second year teaching world literature to 15 and 16-year-old kids at a local high school when the assistant principle pulled me into the hall with several other teachers and told us that two planes had hit the Twin Towers. We all immediatly knew America was under attack. Orders from school administrators was to keep this from students. I had been a journalist before becoming a teacher, and I disagreed completely ith that decision. I returned to my classroom, looked into the faces of my students and thought, "They deserve to know. Thi is history, and they should see it." so I told them everything and we agreed to turn on the television in my room and watch the news. We heard about the attack on the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania. We saw first one and then another tower collapse as if they had been made of paper. There was stunned silence. There were tears. There was anger. And, since we live in a military community, there was fear for how it would affect friends nd families in our community. Over the ensuing days, we discussed what had happened, tied it to other events throughout the world's history, and connected it to the literature we were reading. We discussed religious differences and, more important, the similarities in the three big western religions. I saw students become not more closed-minded, but more open to empathizing with those different from themselves. In short, I saw that good will always overcome evil. As tragic as th events of that day wee, they brought the world together in grief and empathy. And that is greater than any evil perpetrated that day.

    I didn't know anyone that died that day, but I knew plenty who have died since then, fighting the threats to our peac of mind. And as long as we remember and continue to honor those who died that day and all that we lost, good will continue to triumph.

    Life is pain, but it is also joy. And I think we should remember the pain, but live with joy.

    Bonnie Wilson Carlson, Hope Mills, NC

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  30. Paul,

    I was in my classroom, and just happened to check my e-mail. That is when I saw the headlines about what had happend. I thought it was a terrible accident. Then, I quickly realized that it was horribly intentional. Parents started checking their children out. I worried about Oak Ridge, and nuclear fuel companies nearby that family and friends worked at. I worried that the tragedies would continue at additional targets. I wanted nothing more than to go home. Many of my students (6th graders), had no idea of the enormity of what had happened. It still seems like yesterday. I had the pleasure of visiting the towers before they fell, and the closue of visiting again in 2006. The gaping hole was the perfect metaphor to what had happened to us as a country. However, we will overcome this.

    Paul, thank you for your kind words. I believe you are an honorary American! God Bless America!

    Suzanne Averill
    Tennessee

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  31. Paul, you have expressed so beautifully, what those of us who were not affected directly, feel about today. The whole world lost that day ten years ago. Fear and heartache are not exclusive to those who lost a loved one. Terrorism affects us all! Thank you for making us proud that you chose the USA as your second home! God Bless!

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  32. Paul, this was beautifully written and I think it reflects what a lot of us are feeling right now. When 9/11 happened I was a freshman in college, 8 hours away from home. Have you ever been surrounded by hundreds of people and still felt all alone? That is how I felt that day. I was at a Christian college so it kind of helped that we all had the same beliefs of knowing who was really in control and taking care of us. But I was still scared because I knew lots of men and women in the armed forces, and I was scared for them and what they might have been facing. Thank you for writing this and letting us all see into your head and heart. It's good to know that even people who weren't living here at the time were just as affected by that day.
    Your Friend, Denise

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  33. my thoughts about today (too long to put here). Feel free to read and share.

    http://wtwgb.blogspot.com/

    Hope everyone has a blessed day.

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  34. ittle town next to mine with which we share emergency services, festivals, many friendships and such, has created a 9/11 memorial garden due to the tireless efforts of their Police Chief. The artifacts include; a piece of iron fom the World Trade Center Tower #1, a brick from the crash site of the Pentegon at Washington DC, and a canister of soil from the crash site in Shanksville PA. It will be deicated today at 2 PM with a military fly-over, and visits from all who wish to be there. There will be poetry readings,and music from many schoolchildren and choirs and community groups and churches during the day at 11 minutes past every hour until 10:11 PM, and will conclude with a candlelight service to close the day. Our Firefighters and Police and EMTs from both of our towns drove 200 miles to NYC to assist in search and rescue operations...Paul, bless you your lovely blog, and remember that over 200 Claddagh rings were found in the rubble of the Twin Towers; Brits and Irish and hundreds of other nationalities were there that day as well...we will never forget!

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  35. That was so beautifully said Paul and thank you! Today is my brother's Birthday and from 10 years ago until now we celebrate his day in a different way...we now make sure everyday is ended with a "I Love You". We know we will never forget and it makes me feel happy that others havent. God Bless You and Us All!

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  36. Paul, that was a beautiful blog...

    A co-worker lost his son that day... who worked in one of the towers...I was at home that day watching TV when it happened ..I watched when the second tower got hit and I watched both towers go down ...I will never forget it ..I watched in horror ...Our family was worried sick about my niece that works in NYC...Especially my sister ...We didn't rest until we got that phone call from her saying she was alright ..Thank God for that....
    During the ceremonies this morning I can't stop crying.... Tears just keep flowing down my checks.I wipe them away but more seem to come. † We must pray for peace.†
    Again Paul Thank you for that beautiful bog that you wrote...You are amazing...
    God bless you always ...
    Charlotte A Patton

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  37. That was so beautiful, and felt by so many! I think that day was my wake up call, that you are really never safe anywhere. The world did change that day. I only wanted to go home and be with my son, but had to stay at work, and reassure our little guys that everything was ok. The greatest thing I learned is, we should always take time to tell the people we love how we feel. Thank you for sharing something so beautiful with everyone! Bless you~ Cindy

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  38. I woke this morning in time for the first moment of silence in memory of the first Twin Towers hit. It’s as painful now as it was then. In the words of Alan Jackson “Where were you when the world stopped turning”. For most Americans thats they way it felt. How could this be happening?

    Ten years ago today I was standing in a conference room in a high rise building in Atlanta watching the TV in complete disbelief with my colleagues as the second plane hit. Tearfully we were speechless. Pain for those on the plane, in the buildings, the firefighters, the people on the ground, the families. Pain! Arrogance, ignorance or blind faith we felt this could not happen. Our relatives fought and are fighting for our freedom and security. This just can’t be happening!!! We will NEVER forget that day!

    The 9/11 generation: 9/11 has changed Americans forever. The understatement of the decade! My youngest son was only 18 at the time. He went on to serve 5 tours in Baghdad with the United States Army and came home to be a Police Officer. I could not be more proud. The 9/11 generation is and will forever be vigilant! As will we all. Vigilant as we walk down the street, ride the train or eat at a restaurant. We will never forget!

    May God keep the families of those lost or injured and those still fighting for our freedom, safe and secure. And May God be with us all.

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  39. I LOST FRIENDS THAT DAY, A THOUSAND MILES AWAY WATCHING IT UNFOLD, AT WORK NO LESS, COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. GENERATIONS WERE LOST THAT DAY. I PRAY FOR THEM NOW AND ALWAYS. tHANKS PAUL... AND TO CELTIC THUNDER.

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  40. Today always makes me think of my mother whom I don't always get along with but who I pray will one day have mental peace in regards to 9/11. For years it was a taboo subject in our house treated like just another day. Its wasn't until about 3 years ago I found out why. I knew mother worked in a stock brokerage at the time and had colleagues in NY. What I didn't know was that her company's main office was high in one of the towers... and that they kept a constant line of communication open to that office. My mother didn't just SEE the tragedy on TV she actually HEARD people she communicated with every day die. Sadly she never got help to deal with her grief and still holds it bottled up inside. So I pray for all those affected, many more than I can even start to comprehend, its mother who is foremost in my thoughts
    Mindy

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  41. Your words mean so much to everyone. Like you I didn't lost anyone in 9/11 but my heart goes out to everyone who did.

    I remember sitting on my sofa watching Tv, I had just gotten my children on the bus for school. The news broke in about the towers and I could do is cry. That whole day was like a daze to me.

    All I can say is God Bless every families and friends who lost people that day. And God Bless you Paul for being you.

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  42. I remember that morning so clearly even though I was only 10 years old. I left my house to walk to my bus stop 1/4 a mile away like any other school day and between when I left my house and the bus picked up the stop after mine that is 2 miles away the news broke. The girl that got on the bus after me, who was my best friend at the time and only 9 years old, told me that a plane crashed into the world trade center. I am a country kid from Oregon, I had never even heard of the world trade center all I understood from that was that something bad was happening in a very important place. By the time we made it to school about 45 minutes later our teachers knew what was going on and tried their best to explain everything to all of us. America was under attack and those attacking us had hit some important buildings. For a lot of us this didn't entirely make sense, we were all a bunch of po-dunk farm kids going to a school 15 miles from even the nearest town. At lunch we had a few minutes of silence for the people who died. When I left school that day I went home to find Uncle Ronny (a very close friend of the family that lived with us) watching the news. The video of the planes flying into the towers was practically on repeat. It was pretty much the same when my older brother got home from school later, and my mom after that.

    So much changed that day. The feeling of being safe and secure. The idea that we were America why would anyone attack us (I know it was a naive and childish notion but I was a child). For many of us we came to fear "what next" for a long time because if they are capable of attacking us like that, how will they attack next.

    But on the good side of things I think I am young enough that I avoided most of the trauma that many other people faced. I am old enough to know that that day did change all of our lives forever, the way we think and feel about the world. Not only Americans but a large part of the world I believe too. And also the way that a great many things are done, just ask anyone who flew somewhere before 9/11/01 and someone who has after. But at the same time I am young enough that while I know there was a different way before the attacks I was young enough that those changes now seem like how it has always been.

    Anyway Thank you for your blog today,Paul. And sorry that this was soo long. I started writing and it just kept coming.

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  43. Thank you Paul!!!! As I sit here and remember that terrible day, still trying to make sense the horrible actions of others, I cry. I cry for the lives that were lost, the families that changed forever and the innocense that was lost by a nation. Even though I knew no one that was directly touched by the bombings, I still have a hole in my heart and it will never heal.

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  44. Thank you Paul, beautifully stated, and thanks for the reminder that we need to let our loved ones know that they are loved every day. None of us know what tomorrow brings. xx

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  45. Paul, thank you for writing this, it is beautiful. <3

    I was ten years old and living in NJ on September 11th 2001. I was home schooled at the time so I watched the news on my parent's TV. I saw the second plane hit. I heard the live reports about the Pentagon and Flight 93 in PA. I was horrified. I had no idea such evil really existed. Hitler and WWII and other such horrors were ancient history to a ten year old. But that day changed my view on life forever. I don't think that anyone with a heart and soul will ever be the same again. I may not have lost a personal friend that day, but those who died were our families, friends, neighbours, and fellow Americans. May we never forget those who died or forsake those who survived. God Bless America.

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  46. Thank you, Paul...it's a rough day for Americans, even if they didn't know anyone who lost their life.

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  47. Wow, Paul! Thank you for your heartfelt post today. It is truly a time of healing here and in the rest of the nation. The lost has been on so many different levels. A co-worker along with the rest of a corporation of clients perished in the South Towers when the escape routes were cut off from their offices on the 100th floor. One of my clients (I'm in the corporate travel industry) and her boyfriend were on United 93 that went down in Shanksville, PA .. friends that have lost their husbands, firefighters that heroically put the lives of others before their own. A close friend of mine, whose office was directly across the street from the North Tower was talking to her mom from her 44th floor office, only to witness the second plane pass in front of her and crash into the South tower, survived the horrors of that day. It was a terrifying day as I had no idea how many people I had put on planes, where my friends were that worked near the towers; my cousin and her son were supposed to be flying home from Boston to LA .. turns out they left a few days earlier on the same United flight that had gone into the North Tower. I shut down emotionally after that day, I was afraid to deal with it. Well, I decided that I needed to let go,it has taken 10years, but, it is time .. and I've been crying since. It's good though, healing is taking place and it's time for us to move on but NEVER FORGET those who have died and honor their memory. I pray for God's gracious peace for those who DID lose a love one and GOD BLESS THE USA.
    Thank you, Paul .. God's blessings on you always.
    Catherine

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  48. I remember when I heard about what happened, I was at school. I was a sophomore at Churchill High School going through the International High School program. I didn't believe it at first. I thought it was just a horrible joke, but when I got home, my mom told me it really happened. I was amazed because I didn't think that the United States did anything to deserve such an atrocious act. I was such a naive young woman. Now, ten years later, I feel at peace with what happened. I hate what these terrorists did, but I forgive them because through what they did, they brought our country together.

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  49. Paul I think that you like many of us are still struggling. I was at work when a friend told me that there was something going on in NY.. Ten minutes later and lots and lots of tries trying to find out we heard the horrible news. I work at a university in the financial aid office and we had young adults crying in the office with the news. The university opened up our big auditorium and played the news round the clock for students and workers. The quiet in the auditorium will always stay with me the only sound heard was the news casters and the quiet tears of hundreds of students and staff.

    My first thought was where was my son you see he was in the Army at that time, I never got a hold of him that day or for 2 weeks after. Until one day he called from an Air Force base near my house to see if I would pick him and some of his buddies up and bring them home for a couple of days. they had been in New York and the surrounding airports looking for bombs. they spent a few days home before returning to NY and ground zero.

    The horror those boys saw those weeks following should never bee seen by anyone but especially 18, 19, and 20 year old.

    I pray that no one ever has to live through the horrors of 9/11 ever again. I pray for peace in this world daily and pray that we never ever have to send young people in to harms way again.

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  50. Paul, thank you for this heartfelt, beautifully written blog.

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  51. Memories of visiting NYC just after 9/11..... faces trying hard to hide their fears of what the future would bring....heartfelt expressions of gratitude & welcome toward visitors to the city......heavily armed military guards on the sidewalks with military vehicles patrolling the streets.....weary workers at ground zero. But in the midst of it all, there was a strong sense of togetherness and toughness and a firm resolve not to be defeated.... a genuine expression of the American spirit. Thank you, Paul for your beautiful words.

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  52. While I am fortunate to not have lost someone I know...I feel we as a country lost our very innocence that day. I look back to that morning and watching the news about the first plane...then suddenly watching on live TV as the second plane crashed. The feeling of shock and disbelief!! Then watching the whole day unfold like some kind of nightmare. While working today...the question came up frequently..."What were you doing on 9/11?" I remember...will never forget. Let us all pray for the people that lost their lives and their loved ones. May God hold them in his loving arms and give them peace. Thank you for your loving thoughts, Paul. Perri

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  53. Paul,
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
    I myself was lucky enough to have my family safe that were in the military; but I lived on college campus with a large part of the population being from New York, New Jersey,and Connecticut where I am from.
    I will never forget how most of us felt that day being 19 yrs old so far from home not being able to get a hold of loved ones. Our campus was so quite and like a gost town for weeks no parties or anything other then the things we had to do; quite the erie feeling on a college campus. The one thing my dad said he remebered the most is knowing once her heard that I would be trying to call him and how hard it was for him to wait to hear from me because of the phone lines but how I sounded when I did finally get through. But no matter how I sounded and how much he wanted to drive the 3/4hrs to come give me a hug and tell me all would be OK he knew he was lucky in that he could still hug me unlike so many others.
    I know myself like many will never forget that day not just on 9/11 but everyday. In the 10yrs that have passed I could not put into words what happened to me and many that day; but you siad it perfectly "all our souls lost a little bit of light that day"
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    God bless you.
    Alice

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  54. Dear Paul, you always seem to have the perfect way of expressing yourself. And those of us in PA, your neighboring state feel very much the same as you so beautifully reflected. We adore you for your genuine candor and for always letting us share little special insight into your heart. May God Bless all of those people in the world trade center, who came from a over the world for meetings, or if the world trade center was their home office. Evil took the precious souls of Americans and their business partners, and the lives of the most brave...the police, fireman, and other people tasked to save others in a time if personal crisis. But, the people lost would have been so proud of how the whole world rallied with the great state of NY, and we slowly sttod up from the sucker punch the terrorists dealt them. We are united, but we will mist certainly never forget. Bless you Paul for remembering with all of your friends in the USA. Hugs and love, Francine

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  55. Paul, like you and many others I woke up this morning like I do every year, with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. 10 years ago I was working at a doctor's office when I heard the news. Immediately my heart and prayers went out to the families and friends of all those who died and for our country whose innocence was lost. It wasn't until about a week later when I learned just how close to home this hit. I had gone out to pick up dinner when I walked into the pizzeria and I saw one of those "Have you seen me" fliers that were plastered all over the news. The face and name on the flier was one I knew well. The face brought me back to my 3rd year of high school and my sociology class. Danny's bright smile was infectious, you could not be in a bad mood when he was around.

    Thank you for your thoughts on 9/11 Paul!!

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  56. Thank you for your beautiful words, Paul. I was teaching a class of first graders on that day. The principal came door to door and asked us NOT to use the tvs. He said a plane had crashed into the WTC in NY. Then, the calls started coming: parents picking up their kids. First one, then 2, 3..in all 5 of my 20 kids. That was then I knew it was not an accident. My kids left that day, unaware of what had occurred. The following day, we were on the playground when a plane went overhead, checking the nuclear plant in the next town. 2 little kids came running, crying, afraid that we were about to be attacked. Their innocence was gone. A very sad time in our history.
    Jeanne

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  57. I do not need to be reminded where I was on 9/11/2011 anymore than I need to be reminded where I was when I learned the JFK was assassinated. Both are burned into my memory. I had just come back from dropping my daughter at her school bus and walked in to see the 2nd plane hit the WTC. I assume there were tears streaming down my face but all I remember is being stunned. It was one of those events that are inconceivable, and yet it happened.

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  58. Paul, thank you for those beautiful words. You expressed what many of us feel. I'll always remember that day and the horror of watching it all unfold. Watching it ten years later I still cry for all we lost that day. But instead of breaking us apart, those attacks united us as a country like never before. We were one. Let us never forget that day. Thank you again for your beautiful words. Kristi

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  59. I live in Australia and was stunned when the events in NY happened. I have friends living there and was terrified for them and shocked to think this could even happen. I was glued to the television set and was on the phone to my sister, who lives interstate, for hours on end watching in horror as the events unfolded. (My family never found out till much later that on that particular day my then fiance was moving out and I was going into hospital the next day for surgery)

    That day will always be burned in my memory not for my own personal bad luck but for the horrendous atrocities that occurred to so many innocent families. The bravery that so many people showed on that day will forever be a testament to the strength of a nation and the strength of humanity during a crisis.

    My friends survived that day but were changed forever as was the entire world. My heart will always mourn those that had their lives taken away so violently and pray those that need the strength will always find it in times of need.

    Bless you all
    Love Melissa
    xox

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