The Day We Will Never Forget


I was at work in a family practice on 9th Street in Oshtemo, Michigan. The other nurses and I were busy putting patients in their rooms and doing tasks for our physicians. It was by all accounts a typical Tuesday morning, at least until the portable radio at the nurses’ station interrupted its program, and a special news report told of an airplane that had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. One of the nurses turned the radio volume up and we paused for a moment to listen, but the announcer had very little information, so we went back to our duties.

When the second plane hit the Trade Center we all knew it wasn’t an accident. When the flight numbers of the airplanes were announced, the resident Physician’s Assistant – Eric Kennedy – told us his friend was one of the pilots. My doctor, Wayne Little, went to his computer and tried to bring up CNN, but the website had crashed. We had nothing but that little portable radio and the information brought to us by our incoming patients to keep us updated. The rest of the day was a numb blur as the announcer on the radio continued to tell of the tragedy that unfolded that September day. I remember bringing a patient into one of the exam rooms, and as I took her blood pressure I asked her if she had heard about what had happened. She said she knew nothing, so I filled her in on what I had learned. After all these years I think about that woman, and how she will always remember where she was when she found out about the attacks, getting her blood pressure taken in a doctor’s office.

It was about 6PM before our day was finally done, and we all rushed home to watch what happened on our televisions. Listening to the horror was nothing compared to the sight of seeing those planes slamming into the towers, the people jumping out of their smoking windows, then the towers collapsing and knowing there were thousands dying or trapped, and those who were on the ground blocks away running for their lives as walls of white dust and smoke rolled through the streets. I sat in complete shock that entire night watching the images over and over again, as my son and wife sat beside me, also rooted to the television.

If it were not for my employer Dr. Little I would have driven to New York to help. His calm, rational logic, and his absolute kindness toward me kept me rooted to my job. I cried for weeks and weeks, and even the anti-depressant he prescribed me didn’t put a dent in my grief. I kind of went a little crazy for awhile and did things I’m not very proud of, but still I carried my shattered heart with me wherever I went. I didn’t know a single person who died that day, but it felt as if they were all family members of mine. To this day I haven’t gotten over it, and a I don’t think I ever will. Even now, whenever I watch a documentary about September 11, my heart fills with broken anguish and I weep uncontrollably.

In two days our nation will observe the twelfth anniversary of the most horrific event in all our lives. There will be tears, there will be quiet reflection, there will be prayers and comforting embraces as we again become one body and one soul in our grief.

This anniversary, a group of disaffected Muslims will march through the streets of Washington DC, protesting the unfair treatment they believe they have suffered since 9/11. It was members of their own religion who committed this unspeakable act of terror, and even as they complain, they plot and scheme to impose their beliefs and laws upon the free world, even if it is by the sword. I am going there to meet them, but I won’t be alone. There will be tens of thousands of motorcyclists converging on our nation’s capital, and tens of thousands more civilians who will come from all over the country to remind them what their own kind did to us, and that we will not let them desecrate the memories of all who lost their lives that September day. I will be there to film the day, and I will let my readers and the world know just how powerful and wonderful and patriotic and outraged and determined Americans are, and how we will not let the complaints of a handful of haters sully the reverence and solemnity of the anniversary of that tragic day twelve years ago.

Pray for the safety and strength and courage of all who will face the Islamic protesters this Wednesday, September 1,, 2013 in the shadows of our sacred monuments to freedom and liberty. Pray for justice and pray for all that is good in our beautiful United States of America.

About jaytharding
Christian Mystic-in-training, burgeoning Apologist, Writer, Poet, Philosopher, all-purpose curmudgeon Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 11 Corinthians 5:17

One Response to The Day We Will Never Forget

  1. Alisa says:

    Beautiful post, Jay!

    The Muslims definitely picked the wrong day to make their point.

    But they do have a point and I’m sympathetic to it.

    Imagine fleeing your home country. You’re a Christian and Westboro Baptist is terrorizing the world and making the rest of us live their idea of Christianity. It’s so bad that you flee because you and your family’s lives are in danger. The oppression is unbearable.

    You hear of this whole other place that’s touted to be “The Land of the Free and the Home of The Brave”! FREEDOM!! Freedom to worship what you believe! Freedom to once again live your culture and beliefs without being terrorized! My god, people might even let us live in peace!

    So you take the leap. Pack up family! The streets are paved with gold!!!

    Culture shock.

    But there’s still the hope….the reason you took the risk.

    Only you find that everyone in this new Land of Promise is full of people waiting to harass and kill you because of what Westboro Baptist had the money and power to convey to the world: We are ALL like this!

    Only problem is, we are NOT ALL like this. And no one will listen to us.

    Our country was built by people fleeing these situations. Those people are why me and you were born here.

    Otherwise? They definitely picked the wrong Day to make their point. They’re not dangerous. Just not too bright, apparently.

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