Never Forget – A Letter Written to My Son on September 11, 2001

“That’s what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong. That decency will somehow triumph in the end.  -Lisa Hand

 At the time, we had no idea how the events of that day would change our lives forever. I worked at American Express Financial Advisors downtown Minneapolis, and the corporate headquarters of American Express was right across the plaza from the towers in New York. We lost 11 employees that day. For weeks the company had internal message boards, where workers could go to read and write their accounts of what they witnessed on that day. Those of us who worked in other locations could share our condolences.  The company put up a memorial in their honor called “Eleven Tears‘.

Since my son was a baby I have kept journals where I write letters to him. Below is my note from September 11, 2001.

 09-11-01 “Today was a day that will change how we do things in America. I was on a conference call at work with some field leaders who work in the Carolinas and one of them told me what happened. I could hardly believe it and went to to see what I could find. The World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon had been attacked by some people who were not nice at all. My employer told us if we didn’t feel safe we should go home and we all left. 

People began evacuating downtown Minneapolis and it was so crazy we could not even get a taxi out of the city and the whole nation is stunned.  They closed down businesses, the stock exchange, the airlines, etc., all across the country for the first time in history. Locally they reported prayer vigils at churches all over the Twin Cities and the globe. It was an emotional day for everyone.

When I finally did get home, we spent the day together with the television and non-stop special reports all day as everyone was trying to make sense of the chaos. I remember sitting on the rocking chair in the living room watching the news in disbelief as your little ten month old body was sleeping so peacefully on my chest and I was praying as the tears fell quietly down my face. I felt so numb I could barely speak today. 

Son, the message I want you to take from all of this is that freedom is not something we take lightly. Those who went before us fought and died for our freedom and there are people now still doing the same thing. We need to never forget what happened and to remember those people and their families in our thoughts daily. The opposite of love is fear and the opposite of hate is compassion.  May you always walk in love and compassion. ILY – Mom

Please share your comments below, thoughts and experiences below.

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5 Responses to Never Forget – A Letter Written to My Son on September 11, 2001

  1. Everything you said makes so much sense. Love your story and thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Patrick Aumer says:

    Well Written…thank you for sharing the importance of the message to the little guy, though I doubt he is little anymore.

  3. Steve Tietz says:

    Heart wrenching and lifting.

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