Remembering That Day

Kim Weaver | 9/11/16

The day started out just like any other. The alarm went off at 5 am so I could be to work by 7 and home by the time my kids got out of school. My office was in the basement of the Sioux County Department of Human Services building. I had no radio or TV reception, but went upstairs to put postage on some letters I needed to send out.

I still remember the images on the TV in the front office as if they are etched in my brain. Our secretary was watching the news, hypnotized by what she was seeing. She had been one of the staff who responded to the horrific plane crash at the Sioux City airport in 1989, helping to sort the bodies in the makeshift morgue. I can only imagine the images that flooded her mind.

A plane had just crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. At first, we both thought that it was some horrific accident. Then, as we continued to watch the live feed, a second plane appeared and headed towards the south tower. My mind could barely comprehend what was happening. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was terrified and numb at the same time.

We were glued to the TV.  Hungry to find out what was happening. What seemed like just minutes later, we heard that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. There was no doubt in my mind. We were under attack. My mind raced back to Pearl Harbor. Who was attacking us? Did this mean another World War?

The south Tower collapsed. Images of people running from a tsunami of smoke and debris rushed at us. Then, a portion of the Pentagon collapsed. I called my boss and told her I had to go home. I had to pick up my kids. I had to hold my kids. I had to know they were safe. She understood.  

When I finally arrived home, I called my mom.  She reminded me that my two cousins worked not far from the World Trade Center. I had forgotten that. For hours we all tried calling them, thinking that one of us might get through. Busy signals. I’m not sure what time it was, but I finally heard my cousins were alive and safe. So many families never got that call.

Over the next few days we heard the stories of bravery, the stories of sacrifice, and the stories of people pulling together to help one another. People of all walks of life flooded the blood banks.  People of all races and religions joined hands to search through the rubble, to rescue all the souls that they could. It was one of our darkest hours and one of our brightest moments.  

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As a nation, we have been through great trials and horrific tribulations, but in the end, when we are at our darkest hour, we pull together. We always have and I believe always will. I believe we have the capacity to be that true beacon of light and hope for the world. I have faith in us.  

To all the brave men and women who rushed in to save others, only to sacrifice your lives, please know that we will carry your torch forward. We see your light. To all the families who lost loved ones, please know that we honor your pain and we will never forget. To all the men and women who were injured that day, please know that we will fight to support you.

 

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