I visited Foxborough’s 9/11 Memorial outside of the Public Safety building Tuesday to remember those who died on Sept. 11, 2001 and to quietly reflect on what had occurred that day.
It was my first time visiting the memorial and reading the messages from each monument.
Foxboro Never Forgets and the many volunteers who worked on this memorial did an amazing job as reading through the messages and looking at the two granite towers took me right back to that day and gave me a place to reflect and pay tribute to those who lost their lives.
Thank you for that.
I wrote down some of my recollections from Tuesday's visit and decided to share them with all of you …
Today is a solemn day.
It has been for the 11 years following that tragic Tuesday morning on Sept. 11, 2001.
I was a sophomore at nearby Millis High School at the time and can still recall vividly where I was, what I was doing and what was happening around me.
I was in the hallway of the high school headed for my US History class when a couple of upperclassmen – teammates of mine on the football team – started yelling “We are going to war! New York is being attacked.”
Upon hearing this I ran into my history class and asked my teacher what was happening. He told me to calm down, take a seat and he would address the class in a couple of minutes.
True to his word, my history teacher waited for the class to file in and he explained a plane had hit one of the towers at the World Trade Center in New York City. Before he finished telling the class what he knew about the incident, a tardy student came running into the classroom and announced to the class that a second plane had just hit the second tower at the WTC.
Fear took over the classroom and my history teacher said “we are going to watch history today” and learn more about what is happening.
Our classroom did not have television so the 20 of us went next door to the other history class in session and sat in with those students to watch what would unfold on Sept. 11, 2001.
We watched CNN as it replayed the initial attacks of the planes flying into the towers.
We watched as it reported on the attack at the Pentagon and the plane that crashed in that Pennsylvania field.
We saw what we thought was just debris falling from the burning towers only to learn that it was people jumping from the building.
My fear set in.
We continued to watch, trying to make sense of why this happened … why were we being attacked? Would there be more attacks around the country?
Then the first tower fell.
Tears streamed down the faces of my classmates.
Then the second tower fell.
Anger took over me.
Never before this day have a few short hours felt like an eternity. And never have I experienced such fear, sorrow, confusion and anger like I did on Sept. 11, 2001.
I feared for what this meant to our country – family, friends and neighbors.
I felt tremendous sorrow for the more than 2,700 innocent people who lost their lives that day. I cried and prayed for their families.
I was lost with confusion over what happened on that day. Searching for answers as to who attacked us and why? While these questions have been answered in the 11 years since that day – it will never change what happened and it will never remove my anger from that day.
My father was in the military when I was growing up and he instilled in me a sense of pride for this country that cannot be broken – it is worth fighting for to protect.
Leaving political agenda and opinion out of this – I ask you respect these thoughts when I say I expected us to go to war in defense of our country and our freedom. I expected us to fight what we stand for and to seek justice for the 2,753 lives lost in New York City.
I was readying myself for my father to be called back into service. I was readying for my own call into military duty.
Instead, those far braver than I volunteered their lives to serve, fight, protect and defend our nation.
Thank you - from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all those who have served and continue to serve to protect this nation.
As we remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, we should also spend time remembering those who gave their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of our nation following the attacks on 9/11.
And thank you to the Navy Seals who found Osama bin Laden last May.
Thank you to our neighbors, friends and family for coming together in this country’s darkest hours 11 years ago and standing tall for all to see as volunteerism and Patriotism swept across this nation like nothing I had ever experienced.
I do wish, however, that same volunteerism and Patriotism still existed today and wish it didn’t take a national tragedy to bring this country together. ... But that’s a story for a different day.
On this day, I'm only interested in remembering what took place on Sept. 11, 2001 and paying tribute to the lives lost.
Today, we should educate those in our lives who did not experience Sept. 11, 2001, so they, too, can remember those who died.
Today, we honor those who lost their lives and we thank those who have served and continue to serve to protect and defend our nation.
Today is Sept. 11 and I, along with Foxborough, will Never Forget.
Call for comments: What do you remember about Sept. 11, 2001?