I am sitting here in shock and disbelief. I am exhilarated at the news that Osama bin Laden is finally dead. Waiting for the president to make the official announcement that Osama Bin Laden has finally been killed, I am feeling many different emotions. Accompanying the satisfaction of knowing that one of the world’s most frightening monsters is dead, I am also overwhelmed with a deep sense of sorrow and remembrance. I have a lump in my throat and tears streaming from my eyes.
I can very clearly remember the morning of September 11, 2001 as if it were yesterday. We were living in North Carolina and my husband was away on business in Allentown Pennsylvania. I was at work, at a small publishing house,when my boss called me over to the television to see what was happening. We were both in shock of what we were seeing on the television… of what was happening. It looked like some horrible action movie but it was live TV.It was the footage of the first tower being hit. I remember my heart falling to the floor. I couldn’t make sense of it. It was all happening so fast. We were being attacked on our own soil. MY HUSBAND was in Pennsylvania, much too close to where everything was taking place. I remember the newscasters making the announcement, as I was still trying to absorb the tower being hit. Seeing the dark billowy puffs of smoke escaping from the rubble and the heartbreak of seeing the people jump from the building. All I wanted to do was hear my husband’s voice. To know that he was OK.I couldn’t imagine the fear and thoughts going through the jumpers minds as they had to make that decision. Or the pain they must have felt being trapped in the collapsing towers. Minding your business, doing your work and your entire life just being snatched away like that. Your future, no longer an option. Moms and Dads never being able to see their children again. Then they made the announcement on the news that the plane had went down in Pennsylvania.
The plane went down very near where my husband was working. I called and called ( as I know many people were trying to do ) but the phone lines were all down due to what was happening and all the calls trying to be made. Everyone was trying to make sure that their loved one was not in the building or in any danger.I remember being there at work, watching helplessly as my world was collapsing. I stayed at work with my boss because I was 10 hours away from my nearest relative and going home meant sitting there alone. My husband was there…nearer to the catastrophe than I would ever want. I thank God that he wasn’t in New York and eventually, he called me. It seemed like forever waiting for that call to come. I remember thinking..this is it..this is the day my world could come to a screeching halt.It did in a way. My life was changed forever. I will never feel safe again.Not completely. Every time someone I love gets on a plane, I hold my breath until they land safely. I’ve not been on a plane since this happened and I am sure that when I do, I will need to be medicated for anxiety. The phone call finally came that my husband was OK. Hearing his voice was one of the greatest moments of relief that I have ever experienced in my life.
Osama Bin Laden is dead and I am glad. I feel that we are all a little freer from the tyranny of terrorism that we have been under for the past 10 years. My heart still aches for all the wives who lost their husbands and children who lost their parents, parents who lost their children and anyone who lost a loved one. Every moment is more precious to me now because I know that any moment can be the last. I’ve been holding on to these feelings for a long time. I’ve had them wrapped up tight in a small little box, hidden away far back in the corner because I didn’t want to think about how vulnerable we
were are. I was afraid that if I allowed myself to feel those feelings, it might be too much. But tonight I cry, tears of joy that we no longer have to fear the monster and tears of sadness for all the wonderful people that I’ll never know because the monster took them away. I hope that this small victory can bring some peace to the families whose loved ones didn’t make it home that day in September.