Friday, September 11, 2015

They Won't Let Us Forget 9-11

As I sit here typing, I'm listening to the names being read off by loved ones of those who died on 9-11. They do this every year at the same time. They remember the day and time right down to the minutes and seconds. I remember it too. It was such a picture perfect day outside too. I didn't want to go to work. I sat at my desk trapped by my managers because we controlled the phone systems that went down on that day. All of our phone lines were owned by ATT&T which were located right under the World Trade Center. We couldn't call in or out -- and we were the local phone company. The entire place was silent with the occasional, "Oh my God," and the announcement of the second plane that hit. We were also advised that there were more planes that were unaccounted for. We were told to remain put. We were then told that New York was under attack. My wife had Tuesdays off. She was home unable to contact me. I remember wishing that I was with her. What if I never see her again? We didn't know the extent of this terrorist attack. We were at war -- but with who? All sorts of crazy stuff went through my mind like suitcase bombs, nuclear wars, chemical warfare, my family, no goodbyes...

That evening was yes, unforgettable. I managed to make it back home for dinner. I kept poking at my plate, unable to eat for the first time in my life. I had a lump in my throat the size of a taco. And then I just cried, unable to hold my sobs. Why was I crying though? All my loved ones were okay and safe. I didn't know anybody who was in that building. But I cried and cried. It was as if I was experiencing it myself -- as if I was in that building. That evening as we tried to lay down and go to sleep, we were told that there would be no planes flying that night. The entire area was a no fly zone. At around 10:30 pm, we heard loud planes flying low. I ran outside onto my deck with my heart beating a thousand beats per minute thinking that we were possibly being attacked once more. It took a while before we realized that they were army planes surveilling the area. I didn't get much sleep that night just like the rest of New York. 

Each year, the 9-11 Memorial is broadcasted on numerous networks. It never fails, at some point I find myself soaked in my own tears. I start crying once I see a relative of a deceased loved one gagging over her own tears to get his or her name out. So my question is: why can't we forget? Why can't we just rest from this day? Of course we will never. ever. ever. forget, but why must we torture ourselves and relive this moment, this day, this hour, this minute? We have a memorial we can go to if we want to see those who have lost their lives right at ground zero. Why do we put ourselves through the sadness all over again? Is it to show the terrorists how we'll never forget? "Oh we'll show them!" It's only making them happy by seeing us sad every single year on this day.

It's like attending the same person's funeral every single year.

Why can't we forget?

Why can't we move on and keep our loved ones in our hearts?  But maybe I'm no better. Every year on July 21st, I go to my dad's resting spot and make a toast to him up in heaven. 7-21-12 is the day my father went to see the Lord. It's more of a celebration of his life and his new birthday up in heaven. I think personal memorials are beautiful and more meaningful. This huge broadcast of the 9-11 Memorial is just too much -- especially for the surviving loved ones. Can these people move on knowing that every single year they have to go up to the Memorial in front of millions of people showing how much they miss their loved ones who've perished? I can't even imagine how they're feeling. A tragic and sudden death of a loved one has to be the most horrific and traumatic experience someone can go through. They keep the trauma alive -- they keep the feelings of fear, sadness and ache inside their hearts, when they should be healing and moving on, yet not quite forgetting, but cherishing the good memories. How is this helping us emotionally if we go into the mourning phase all over again? What this memorial does is remember the tragic event. Our loved ones don't want us to remember them in pain or how they died. I don't think my dad wants me to focus on the pain that his cancerous body put him through. So why do people want to focus on this type of pain? 

We'll never forget. We'll never get that chance to forget. 

God bless everyone. God bless New York. God bless all of those who lost anyone on 9-11.

My heart is heavy...always on this day.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!