“9/11 – Ten Years Later” by Rosemarie Goos, Raymore, Missouri

September 11 October 26, 2011 03:10

topic: 9/11 medium: TEXT

as submitted for the “9/11” Open Call

We had visitors from Germany and were enjoying a leisurely breakfast on the patio. It was a crisp-bright morning in Houston, when the telephone rang and our daughter said in an agitated voice, “Mom, turn on the TV!” We all went inside and saw the horror unfold as the second tower was hit. There was a collective intake of breath, but no one spoke. My husband looked gravely shocked, my friend was clutching her chest and her husband shook his head with tears in his eyes.

The next day we had planned a visit to the Bush Library in College Station. Since our elderly friends were quite anxious in their uncertainty of when air traffic might resume, we tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy. We called the museum and it was indeed open. We made the trip and not surprisingly, we were the only visitors with but a skeleton staff. We ghosted listlessly through the deserted exhibits until we came upon a sea of flag pictures, created by grade school children. Ordinary, youthful expressions of shared patriotism seemed so poignant that day.

The courtyard of the museum holds a very large monument of remnants of the Berlin Wall with several horses jumping across. It is called “Leap to Freedom.” We sat in the sun taking in this powerful symbol of the Iron Curtain in tatters. What struck me most of all as I contemplated this was the silence, unusual, all-encompassing silence: absence of bustling people and their cars, no airplanes overhead, a silence so ominous, it intruded.

A few days later, one minute of silence was called for to be held all over the world. We watched film clips on TV from across geography and time zones. People stood still in shared reverence. My husband and I held hands and our hearts went out to New York and beyond.

None of us knew what to make of the attack on the Trade Center, but we all felt that our world had surely changed. We didn’t have answers, only many questions as to how and why this had happened and how it would affect us from here on. Ten years later we know. Those senseless, violent acts have led to many more in terrorism and war. We have never again felt safe the way we did before and there is no peace, not even an armistice in sight. However, if people can bring down a wall of fear and suspicion in Berlin, maybe someday there will be a silence of hope and prayer to find a way across this divide, a peaceful way. For the sake of my grandson, I have to keep this hope alive.

1 Comment

  • Patty Steele

    As I read “Ten Years Later,” I silently mourn the passing of Rosemarie Goos. A strong force in the midst of a small town, her talents now shared with the Angels. She leaves a legacy, infamous in our hearts and never to be forgotten.