If I remember correctly, rrjc5488 lost his dad to the terrorists.
His story will make you cry. [/quote]
You’re right, rrjc5488 did lose his dad on 9/11.
Ryan, I hope you don’t mind that I repost what you wrote here on T-Nation, on the 9/11 anniversary 2 years ago. You, my friend, are in my thoughts and prayers today.
Here’s what rrjc5488 wrote:
As some of you know, my dad was killed on 9/11. I’m not looking for pity, or anything like that… I just wrote this essay for a writing class and figured I’d post it here. Its pretty long, so be warned.
Five years is a pretty long time, especially when someone asks you to recall what you did that day. For many people, remembering what they did on September 11th 2001 isn't very hard. I'm one of those people who wouldn't have a problem remembering, but might have a hard time reliving it.
I woke up, got ready for school, and had breakfast like usual. Come time to go to school, my mom drove my dad to the train station and me to school. Unfortunately, he had gone into work early that day; a decision that would change hundreds of peoples lives forever. My mom dropped him off before I did underneath the train station in town; a landmark that I would see almost everyday. He got out of the car, and gave me a hug and a kiss thru the back seat window and then walked up the stairs to the platform as we drove only a few blocks away to school.
School started with my friends and me hanging out in front of the school until we were let in. My first class was technology. We started off the class, until a few minutes in, he received a phone call. His face turned blank and sat down, then hung up. He told the class something very bad had happened, and that he was told not to tell us anything. He told us, he said “You’re still young, but you’re old enough that you should know what’s going on. A plane was flown into the world trade center.”
Immediately, I thought of my father, who worked in the towers, and my cousin, who worked in an office some one hundred feet away. I began to tremble, and almost got annoyed as friends kept asking me “doesn’t your dad work there?” He rolled a TV into the room, and we all just watched the news in silence. Pretty hard to imagine a middle school class in silence, isn’t it? It happened.
At the end of the period, I was called down to the guidance office for my guidance counselor to tell me “I don’t know if you know what’s going on, but your mom spoke to your dad. He’s OK and he’s coming home.” I had never felt so relieved.
I went home after that. I walked into our Florida room to see my older brother who had gotten home before me, and my mom watching the news. Both of them had tears in their eyes. By the time I got home, the second plane had hit.
Shortly after I got home, family friends started coming over, comforting us and bringing us food. We live down the block from the high school, which my older brother attended. Friends from school came down to visit us during the day. More people kept coming, people I had never seen before came over comforting my family. The day went by extremely fast. Having kept in the back of my mind “Dad called, and he’s coming home” I wasn’t worried. My brothers and I did quite the job of forwarding that message to my dads friends as they called and explained to us how he knew him, and asked to speak to him.
Once it started getting dark, was when I and everyone else started to worry. He wasn’t home yet. “He had to be coming home, he said he was” everyone kept repeating. Come 1 o clock in the morning, while most people had left except my relatives, we went to sleep. Or, tried to, at least. My brothers and I slept on air mattresses in the hallway in front of the front door. We wanted to be there, so when he walked thru the doors we would meet him there. where we used to every night he came home from work. I don’t think any of us slept that night; we just lied there in silence.
The next morning, we all woke up. It was pretty glum for most of the day. It was similar to the 11th, except a lot of people came and a lot less “don’t worry” comments that were once reassuring, were said. No one really knew what to do. Over the course of the day, there must have been a hundred people stop by and try to comfort us.
That night the town had vigils, masses, and any other gathering one could think of to display people’s feelings. That night, family and friends packed into our kitchen, living room, porch, and dining room for a service said by a local bishop. I have never seen so many people cry in one room before. People stayed into the late hours of the night, which, at that point, we just wanted to go to sleep. Most of us actually got some sleep since we were so beat from the past two days or so.
The next day, the 13th, we had pretty much given up hope. The past two days events had been surreal. This, though, was as real as it gets. It finally hit us, reality, that he wasn’t coming home. It hit my brothers, my mom, and I harder than anything we could ever imagine. The joyful greeting my we always used to present to my dad after he got home from work, would never happen again. To this day, it’s hard to be at peace with never seeing him again.
That Sunday, we had his funeral mass. It was a sight to see. St. Agnes, our awesome, majestic, huge cathedral had been packed, and even then, people were out the door. My younger brother did an awesome job telling the entire church, yes, the entire church of well over a thousand people, a story about my dad. He did a much better job than I would have been able to. It was a funny story; we heard a lot of laughing, which was good. The priest, who is now an extremely close family friend wanted to celebrate his life, not mourn his death. On such a horrible day, it was nice to see how many people had cared for him and loved him.
While many people experience a huge loss in their life, it’s usually not at such a young age. While anyone in my position would do anything to change what happened, they couldn’t. The only thing I can do is to make the best out of the situation. The most important thing I have learned from this event is to life everyday to the fullest. James Dean once said “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” Unfortunately, a lot of people found out the hard way that day that someone can be taken from you in an instant; not to mention your own life.
George Santayana said “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This is as true as it comes. If we forget about this, it will happen again. We have to always keep something of this magnitude in the back of our minds; it’s obvious our America has. From civil liberties to patriotism, American life is different. Things will, and should, never be the same.