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  • A Reflection on 9/11/2001 – We Will Never Forget

A Reflection on 9/11/2001 – We Will Never Forget

 

 

 

11 years ago today, our lives changed. Everyone who lived that day can tell you where they were, what they were doing and maybe even have a “what if” story that described how their lives were spared. Millions of these reflections have travelled through countless conversation for the past 11 years and will continue to forever.

We have not forgotten and we will never forget.

 

My Reflection

I have my own bittersweet reflection from 9/11/2001. I was in my English class at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, NY. It was my junior year. We were learning how to write a paragraph. Yes, juniors in high school learning how to write a paragraph… {sigh} I digress. We heard our principal announce over the loud speaker that a plane had hit into the World Trade Center and that anyone who had parents who worked there to report down to the office. At that age I never really knew and understood what the World Trade Center meant to the world let alone our city. Of course it was upsetting news to all of us because of its gravity and its impact on so many people. Moments after the announcement was made, my teacher continued teaching us about how to write a paragraph. To this day, it’s been a little fuzzy but I swear that I, who was one of the “quieter” students, spoke up possibly to the other people around me but loud enough for everyone to hear, “A plane just hit the World Trade Center and we have to continue learning about how to write a freakin’ paragraph?”

The progression of the day felt like years. I wound up catching repeat footage of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center in the Campus Ministry Center. It was just unbelievable. I had never seen anything like it. I stayed at school for most of the rest of the day even though we were all free to leave but what more could you do to make things better? Just pray for the best and that is what we did.

Fast-forward a few years when I started working in Three World Financial Center at my current job. Every day I would walk by Ground Zero, a term that would never remind me of any other place than that area for the rest of my life.

Through the more recent years of rebuilding, I saw hope. Certainly every anniversary has been a somber day to reflect. One 9/11 anniversary, early on in my career, I vividly remember that as I walked on Vesey Street towards 3WFC, passing by families of the victims who were walking in the opposite direction towards Church Street was quite emotional.  As families with children walked huddled together, grasping pictures and proudly wearing pins with pictures of loved ones lost, it nearly brought me to tears.

I was fortunate to not to have any family or friends in that building that day. However, I know a few people who did and in honor of them, I dedicate this blog post.

 

9/11/12 – 11 Years Later

There were two aspects of today that hit me hard. The first one was at 8:46am in the Starbucks in the World Financial Center and the second one was an article I read on what would it have been like if we had the power of social media 11 years ago.

At 8:46 am as I waited on line to order my usual iced venti hazelnut latte, the music in the Starbucks stopped abruptly and one of the baristas at the Starbucks location spoke up in his usual loud voice and announced the time and that 11 years ago at that very moment American Airlines Flight 11 had hit into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He asked everyone to partake in a moment of silence. It was an amazing gesture by the Starbucks staff and I commend them for it. As everyone took a moment to reflect, the moment of silence was immediately interrupted by a woman behind me continuing to carry on her conversation to the woman who was on line with her. I looked back. It seemed as if she had no idea what was happening. Is she from another planet? Does she not know what today is? I turned my head back down to savor the moment. Once again she continued. I turned around and gave the utmost dirtiest look I could scrounge up to this woman who then probably got it. I can’t assume or even want to dive into what her excuse for deliberately disrespecting that moment of silence. What was so important that she couldn’t shut her mouth for a minute to pay respect to those lives that were lost was beyond me and it really upset me. I secretly hoped that a Starbucks barista messed up her drink on purpose and would refuse to remake it. This was that type of ridiculous behavior that deserved something far more than a messed up drink but I guess with the mood of the day you just can’t be that mean.

As some point mid-morning, I read an article that a friend on Facebook had posted from the Huffington Post on how social media would have changed 9/11/2001. I immediately had the chills when I started to read through it. I never even remembered last year considering the idea. What if there was Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest (to just name a few). The amount of content would have surely taken the world by storm – a lot more than it did without that technology. The fact that we could have learned so much more of what happened that day boggles my mind. We could have known where people were stuck in the towers before they collapsed or what had exactly happened on the planes. Families and friends could have received a last goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, we cannot take back time and play this what if game forever. We have to live with what has happened and grow from it. The sharp reminders every day help us to stay strong and to move on and appreciate the little things in life.

I hope that if you are reading this and you are not connected to social media, that you take a moment to consider it. In times of an unexpected emergency, it can be the comforting message, tweet, post, pin, picture that you receive that you can cherish. A simple “I love you” to those you love or an “I’m safe” to let your family and friends know you are okay. It’s not too late to get connected. You’re never too old to learn it. There are people who train others on how to setup social media and to use it!

Although 9/11 was one of the most horrific tragic events on our country’s soil, technology wasn’t perfect that day. It was tough to get a text or a call in to loved ones. The networks back then were probably overloaded immediately. I’m not even trying to dwell on it but if a similar tragic event were to ever happen again would we be ready to connect with others and help prevent the dreadful questions of “Where are you?” and “Are you okay?” and simply just update statuses and just keep connect and share what’s going on.

Think about it. Take it seriously. This is reality.

To all those who lost someone on 9/11/2001, my heart and prayers go out to you.

For all those who continue to fight for our freedom because of 9/11/2001, I salute you.

To all those we lost on 9/11/2001, watch over and protect us. R.I.P.

Photo Credit.

 

 
Avatar of Glenn Petriello

About Glenn Petriello

Glenn Petriello is a mid-level HR Generalist working in New York City. Coupled with his enthusiasm for social media and his entrepreneurial spirit, Glenn created The HR Social to provide an interactive blog experience for HR professionals and Social Media enthusiasts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.panella.58 Anthony Panella

    GREAT SITE !! And a great story! I LIKE IT!!

    • thehrsocial

      Thanks Anthony! Glad you like it. More great content is on the way!

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