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Bin Laden Is Dead, and Remembering 9/11

May 1, 2011 · 20 comments

in Commentary

Osama Bin Laden is dead!!!

According to President Obama, Bin Laden was killed May 1st during a United States ground operation near Islamabad, Pakistan.   After a fire fight ensued, the US took custody of  Bin Laden’s body.

Reportedly, Bin Laden was in a mansion or compound when the attack occurred.  (To think I was picturing him crawling around in caves all this time…)

I wish I lived closer to Washington D.C, I would hop in my car and gather around the White House.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to be anywhere near where the announcement took place.

Remembering 9/11

September 11th is a day I know I will never forget, and I am sure most others will not forget it either…
My oldest child was in second grade, my second child was in kindergarden, and my youngest child went to his first day of preschool that day.  I was driving the kids to their respective schools, and I heard an announcement on the radio that a Cessna plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers.   Minutes later, it was reported that it was actually a commercial plane that hit the World Trade Center, and nobody really understood how that could happen.  I was very sad for those on the plane and in the building, but I had no idea that the day was going to unfold like it did.  Just as I dropped my son off at preschool, the second plane hit the other tower of the World Trade Center.  It was then that I started to not just feel sad, but was also started to get scared.  Two planes hitting two buildings was just too big of a coincidence.  It was strange because this was literally the first time in 7 years that I was home alone, and I wanted nothing more than to have all my family around me.

While watching CNN and Foxnews, reports then came spilling in about a plane hitting the Pentagon, and then the Twin Towers collapsed.  It was horrifying beyond belief, and I just sat in my family room alone, crying.  Actually, I don’t know if I ever felt more alone in my life than I did that morning.

Next, there were reports of a plane that was still up in the air and was under terrorist control.  Nobody knew for sure where this plane was heading, but it was suspected that this plane was heading to Washington DC.  In addition, there were rumors of other planes that were unaccounted for, and I just kept picturing planes crashing all over the place.  It was all so upsetting and overwhelming. Eventually, the brave passengers took down the terrorists on the plane that was under threat, but the plane still crashed in Pennsylvania.   Thankfully, no other planes were actually under terrorist control, but we didn’t know that for hours as there was so much conflicting information being reported.

Shortly after the plane crashed in Pennsylvania, I did pick up my youngest son from preschool, and then I went and picked up my other two kids early from school.  I just wanted my family with me.  I didn’t necessarily feel like we were under any threat, but I just needed the comfort of my family.  In hindsight, I think about how deeply I was affected by the events of 9/11, and I lived nowhere near any location that was threatened.  I was just so upset and scared for everyone in New York and Washington, and I was so proud of those brave people that took down that plane and ended up saving so many lives.  I also thought about how awful it must have felt to have been on any of those planes, especially if you had children with you.  In essence,  Bin Laden’s terror was far reaching. Obviously the victims and their families were the most deeply affected.  However, the fear Bin Laden created rippled throughout the entire nation in a way that I had never seen in my life.

My heart goes out to all the friends and families of those that were victims of Bin Laden’s terrorist plots.  I am sure that while many are happy that Bin Laden is dead, this time will be tough for some as there will be constant reminders of the horrors of 9/11 all over the media.

Personally, I am so glad I will never have to listen to another one of Bin Laden’s hateful audio tapes.  I am sure that his death will not put an end to terrorism by any means, but the world is obviously a safer place without Bin Laden.  The war on terror may be a never-ending war as there will probably always be a ‘number 2’ in place, just waiting to step in and take the lead.   However, the fact that the terrorist symbol of 9/11 is dead is a relief.

A huge thank you to all the incredibly brave men and women that serve and protect our country.  Without you, our country wouldn’t have the strength and freedom it has today, and you are so very appreciated!!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

First Gen American May 2, 2011 at 8:34 am

What a touching story. Same here on the thanks that goes out to all the people fighting for our safety.

One of my friends worked in the twin towers and thankfully she was on a business trip the day the events unfolded. She said she’d never been so happy to be in Texas before. My other friend was on a big plane in the air when this all happened. We are so lucky that our friends and family were spared from the brutality.

I was at work and we have TV’s in the lobby. IT seemed like the whole place was just glued in front of the TV. I remember trying to take my mind off things and talk to my manager about work and he couldn’t do it. He ended up going home early and sent me home too.

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Kris May 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm

First Gen, I am so glad your friend was out of town. To be anywhere near the Twin Towers would have been horrifying, especially inside (obviously). Did you friend that was still in the air know all of this was going on with other planes? Did their plane have to suddenly land somewhere? How absolutely scary.

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Husband of Everyday Tips May 2, 2011 at 8:59 am

You did a great job with this post capturing how it felt that day. I remember being in the office until we had accounted for all the people who were traveling and then finally coming home to you guys in the early afternoon.

I completely agree with your thoughts on the brave men and women who protect this country – God bless them and their families.

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Kris May 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Husband- Thank you very much! I too remember you being in the office making sure everyone was safe. I knew you were doing the right thing, but I really wanted you to come home!

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Squirrelers May 2, 2011 at 9:34 am

I think this event will be one where we remember where we were when it happened. Maybe not to the extent of the tragedy of 2001, but I think many of us will remember how we found out.

Personally, I was talking to my aunt on the phone last night when I caught a glimpse of the TV which showed a “breaking news” banner that shared what happened. Thinking of the victims of the families from back in 2001, I just wonder what mixture of feelings they had upon hearing this news. For many of the rest of us, it brought back some of those thoughts but also a lot of nationalistic pride as well. May 1, 2011 will go down as a an important day in our country’s history, in my view.

Thanks for sharing your thoughs on the tragic day back in 2001. I was driving to work, turned on the news station to get traffic reports, and instead heard a live feed of WCBS in NY instead of the CBS affiliate (WBBM) here in Chicago. I got to an offsite training session, where stragely they kept on with the training despite knowing the news. Finally, around lunch, we were all sent home to be with our families. The sancitity of US soil being breached, and the resulting loss of innocent life, were both so shocking.

I wish our kids could live in the sheltered US that many of us grew up in, but it’s a new era and we have to react accordingly. As a country, we took a big step in that direction on 5/1/11. There’s an extra spring in my step this morning, that’s for sure.

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Kris May 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I too will always remember where I was. Actually, I was in the exact same spot as I was sitting in when I learned about Saddam Hussein. On the couch…

Our kids do have to deal with terrorism, unfortunately. However, I am glad that so far, in my children’s lives, there has not been a draft.

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MoneyCone May 2, 2011 at 9:52 am

Finally! The symbol is gone, the menace is still present.

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Kris May 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm

MC- I am so glad he is gone. I think there will always be terrorists out there and people that disagree with the way of life of others. However, I do feel a lot better knowing that there is one less psychopath in the world.

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retirebyforty May 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

I rode the bike to work that day and didn’t know what happened until I checked email and saw a message from my brother. I stayed a work and kept up by internet for half and day and then rode home early. I remembered that it was so quite in the street and there was no planes in sky when I rode by the airport. It was a defining moment in our generation.

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Kris May 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm

RB40- I had totally forgot about how there were not any planes in the sky. I remember looking up in the sky at night and thinking how strange it was to not see any blinking lights up there.

Isn’t it funny the small things you remember?

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Money Reasons May 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I remember thinking that it was just the beginning! I was afraid of other potential attacks that I refuse to mention in a comment area.

Needless to say, I hurried home from work. Luckily for me, my wife already had the kids corralled!

Horrible, and cowardly day that was! I even felt bad for a friend of mine that has their birthday on 9/11…

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Kris May 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm

It is amazing how strong the desire was to be surrounded by family. Just goes to show what is really important in times of crisis.

I also feel bad for anyone with a birthday/anniversary, etc on 9/11.

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Money Reasons May 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Yeah, my friend is now usually a little sad on her birthday. Hopefully time will lessen the pain, but it’s something that will stick with her forever (or at least during her lifetime).

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Little House May 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm

That day, I remember hearing my dad’s message around 10am pacific time saying he was okay and they weren’t hurt (they live in NYC). Since I was unemployed at that time and didn’t watch TV (still don’t, but I make sure to check headlines now!) it was many hours after the fact that I found out. My husband and I were in shock. We rolled our television out from the closet and watched the events unfold. It was surrealistic. I was just so relieved that my family was safe. Though I later found out that a previous employer was on one of the planes that hit the Pentagon. What a horrible day that will live in my memory forever.

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Kris May 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Little House- had you had your tv on from the very beginning you probably would have been terrified for your parents, so maybe it is good you had to roll it out of the closet.

I am sorry you knew someone that was on one of the four planes. I was terrified my brother was on the Boston to LA plane as I knew he had been doing business in Boston, and he flies in to LAX most the time. Fortunately it was all fine, but my gosh that day was so scary.

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101 Centavos May 3, 2011 at 6:18 am

Good riddance to an evil man.
Remembrance of an equally evil day, sadness for all the families affected, and for all the brave men and women who have lost their lives and been wounded since that day.

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Kris May 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

101- Now that some hours have passed since bin Laden was killed, I am somewhat shocked by the reaction of some that he no longer had influence, blah blah. The fact is, a person that represented absolute evil has been removed from our world. I bet all the 9/11 survivors want to smack the people that are saying anything negative about the killing and burying at sea of bin Laden. I am thrilled he and Saddam Hussein are both gone.

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Crystal @ BFS May 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I was at college in Houston, TX that day and saw the 2nd plane crash into the second building “live” on Channel 2. I personally was just sitting there trying to remember if anyone I knew was in NY that day. Most of us were also remembering the Oklahoma City bombing that day since it felt so similar in that repect of “it’s not in our state…okay, who are we missing…okay, now I can take the time to feel…”.

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Kris May 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I thought about the Oklahoma City bombing then too. It was just such an awful and shocking day. I never thought something like that could happen, but I guess I was naive.

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