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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Patriot Day

Blogging on September 11th is never easy.  It doesn't feel right to have a feel good post about an awesome book, or exciting things happening in my life, or even struggles with children as we get into the school year.  I certainly don't feel witty and I can't really focus on anything that could make these even a marginally interesting post.  We all know the reasons why.  

Today is September 11th - now known as Patriot Day in the United States. 

This year is only the 10th year we have had Patriot Day and it was designated in the memory of the 2,977 killed on September 11, 2001 when terrorists hijacked four airplanes.  Two were flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, another plane struck the Pentagon and the last plane crashed into a field in near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

I am sure we all remember where we were and what we were doing that morning and possibly the days that followed.  I find it hard to believe it has been eleven years.  It only seems like a few because the day is still so vivid in my mind.

Patriot Day was initially called Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, and has also been referred to a mourning day.  There were twenty-two sponsors of the original bill: 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans. When the bill was presented to the U.S. House of Representatives on October 25, 2001, it was approved by a vote of 407-0.  On December 18, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the resolution into law and on September 4, 2002, he used his authority to proclaim September 11th as Patriot Day.

 The Patriot Day Proclamation can be read here.

This is not a Federal Holiday, but a discretionary day of remembrance, so many of us will report to work and kids need to be in school. However, it is recognized in other ways.  The American flag will be flown at half-staff and Americans are asked to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:45 a.m. EDT, which is the time the North Tower was struck by the first plane. 

Does your town do anything special in remembrance or to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and those in the armed forces who have died or continue to fight in the war against terror?  Is there anything you do on this day?


  1. In the "old" days I was a news hound. I watched CNN on a nightly basis and when a big news event happened like the Columbine shootings, Oklahoma City bombing or the Waco siege on the Branch Davidian compound, I watched the news around the clock. I kept watching, looking for any new detail that surfaced, trying to sort through the madness.

    But then September 11, 2001 happened. I'd already been at work several hours that day as I had a large meeting I was responsible for just a few days away (one that was subsequently cancelled.) The whole office rushed to the tiny TV and watched the second tower collapse "live".

    My son was almost 4 at the time and I wanted to shield his tiny eyes and soul from the horror that was on a non-stop loop on every TV screen in the country. I stopped watching the news that day. I didn't want to see all that awfulness on a non-stop feed. I haven't really turned it back on.

    Sure when big events happen, I watch CNN... the uprising in Egypt, election night coverage, that sort of thing. But I get my news on the radio in my car, or online these days. I don't want to "see" the news like I used to. The images of September 11th are burned into my brain. And it was complete overload. The saddest day I've ever known. And I've carried that sadness with me every day since.

    So when I think of September 11th, I'm reminded, that I tuned out that day (or really, probably September 13th or so, if I'm honest) and have never fully tuned back in.

    I'm not sure if my community celebrates Patriot Day in some way or not. But I remember the fallen in my heart, regardless of the day. And I fondly remember September 10th, when the world still made sense.

  2. Ten years later and it still brings me to tears. As Ava said, the world we knew changed that day. :(

  3. A moment and day frozen in memory forever. I can't imagine ever forgetting the emotions of that day, or of the ensuing days afterwards when we struggled to find a new normal in our lives.

    I'm glad for Patriot's Day, and hope that we will always stand together in remembrance.

    1. I agree Erin. Patriot's Day is a bittersweet way to remind us of how once we all stood together, undivided by politics. It was all of US against Terrorism.

  4. I'll stop today and remember all who fell and have my kids say a little prayer. I remember clearly teaching in my classroom. Yes, I was a teacher at that time! I taught 4k and the word spread very quickly through the school. Parents came and got their children early, and the emotions of sadness and fear were very high. As I write this the presisng sense of sadness is exactly the same when I recall the day and the needless loss of lives. I think remembering the day is such a wonderful thing to do. May all the families of those who were lost find strength and renewed hope today.

  5. Jane, I teared up reading this. It brings all the shock and horror of that day rushing back, and my heart breaks at the lives lost in the destruction--not just those who perished, but their devastated families left behind.

  6. Talked with my kids about this this morning. Because they were so small, that day and this changed world are their normal. And that only adds to the sadness.

    Thanks for a lovely blog, Jane.

  7. I was in the car this morning, on my way to meet up with Olivia Kelly to write together, and the radio station did a tribute. It was all I could do to keep the car on the road. The emotion of it all is still so strong, so powerful.

    I don't know if my community does anything special on Patriot Day, since I've just moved here. I haven't heard about anything. But I always take an hour or two to sit in quiet, thinking about the people who lost their lives, praying for the families left behind, and thinking about how our world has forever changed.

    I will never forget.

  8. I wear black every year on this day as my own little mourning period. Like everyone else the day is burned in my memory and every year that passes I can feel the previous life we once led slipping away. I hope we never forget.

    I'm very fortunate to have a very patriotic, military family. My dad has flown a flag every day since before I was even born. And every year at this time it gets lowered to half-staff. I always take a moment of silence to remember but truthfully, this is the hardest day of the year for me. It's never really far from my mind and I think many of us feel that way. No matter the day, that feeling of horror and disbelief will live with us forever. Life as we once knew it has been erratically changed.

    May we never forget.

  9. It is a day that will be forever burned into my mind. My ex was a native New Yorker living in Michigan on September 11. I was working the mid day shift so my normal wake up was around 8:30 in the morning and I had just sat down to watch the morning news as the news broke about the first tower being attacked. Without hesitation I woke my ex up and explained what I knew was happening at that time, it took him no time to start trying to call his mom and siblings who lived and worked in the heart of the city. We would go on to spend the next four days trying to reach his mom.
    As it turned out she was in Long Island for the week and was emotionally a wreck but otherwise unharmed. I wasn’t in the state but I learned firsthand what the uncertain emotions were like on that day. Since that day there has not been an anniversary where I don’t wake up early to take the time to reflect back and say a few prayers for both the survivors and for those we lost that day. For me it is a time for reflection, and I use it to remember there are worse things in this world that could happen then the trivial things I might have going on during that time. I am a native Detroiter and you could say that I have been hardened towards the news and violent crime on the news. I continue to be a news junkie but these days I tend to leave it on my local news channel rather than the constant streaming cable news. It’s history, and when we don’t remember what has come before, we as humans tend to repeat the mistakes of the past. I know I’ll never forget.