12, 10, 9, and 4. That is how old my children were on September 11, 2001, the day everything they knew about their world changed.
When my oldest came to tell me something really bad just happened, the look on his face was something I’d never seen before, something I never hope to see again. He was scared and confused. “Something bad has happened mommy, it’s on TV and lots of people are going to be dead now.”
I followed him to the living room as he told me an airplane had an accident and hit a building. When I saw the awful scene playing out on the screen I felt a sickness in the pit of my stomach, how does an accident like this happen?
The second plane hadn’t hit yet.
When it did, I crumbled.
I remember falling to my knees right there in front of the television, still not completely comprehending what was happening, or perhaps I simply didn’t want to.
My children were crying, I don’t know if they really knew why. What they did know, was something was very wrong and very sad. Since they were babies we’ve always whispered a prayer when we hear a siren or see an ambulance or fire truck, God be there, our way of helping those in need I suppose. It’s something my mother did with me and something I have always done with them.
The buildings hadn’t begun to fall yet.
When they did, I forgot how to breathe for a moment.
Through my tears I saw my children, huddled together on the floor in front of the television, heads bowed in silence. As the footage ran and the buildings continued to fall, four little voices called out in prayer, saying “God, please be there.”
Crystal R. Cook