Hard to believe it's really been eight years. This morning I went down to the basement and dug out the old Chicago Tribunes we saved from September 2001; we had a little review of modern history around breakfast table. The kids were all so young then that they really don't remember too much about it. Interestingly, the Anchoress says that most young people don't really want to dwell on it; that's understandable.
I still remember the shock, fear, and deep sorrow I felt that morning. I also remember how I tried to protect the kids from the worst of it by having the TV off during our school morning, but running upstairs to check a different TV every so often. A second plane hit; then a tower fell; then a third plane hit the Pentagon; then rumors of more planes flying toward targets. Then, Flight 93 crashing into Pennsylvania ground. Even now, I'm not sure I have the chronology right; it's a blur of terror and shock. I know the north tower was hit first, but the south tower fell first; there were a few things I committed to memory because I wanted to always remember some specific, hard, facts about the day.
The uncertainty was terrible: how bad would this be? What more was planned? How many would die, and when would this attack end? I thought about a good friend who was a flight attendant for United; she was flying that day, as it turned out, and ended up being grounded on the east coast for several days, until they finally started flying planes again.
I still remember the heroes of Flight 93: I vowed never to forget their names. Todd Beamer. Jeremy Glick. Thomas Burnett. Mark Bingham. Here's a site with a timeline of the revolt by the passengers as they bravely stopped the hijackers from crashing the jet into the White House or Congress.
And tonight, I found this site with a story I've only just begun to read; it's hard to remember everything that happened that day, but at the same time, it's so very important to remember.