“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” –Colin Powell
There are certain moments that define a generation. And those moments are embedded in your brain because you can recall exactly where you were when it happened, what you were doing, and who you were with. Some people have a few, and younger generations may only have one. Maybe it was when Kennedy was assassinated, or maybe it was when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, but for most people who are reading this, September 11, 2001 was a life changing moment. The terrorist attacks in New York City were unspeakable acts of violence on our country that have stayed with all of us. Around the MoJo office this month we’ve been sharing our own 9/11 stories and how we commemorate that day.
“Our youngest daughter was born on that day in 1991 and until September 11, 2001 it was celebrated with birthday cake, pool parties, and special gifts. September 11, 2001 was going to be like the many that came before it. However, in an instant, like so many others, a young girl’s life was changed forever. Her birthday would never be the same again. Our family struggled with the desire to be happy and celebrate for our daughter’s sake and balance that with the somber need to remember and memorialize those that were lost. We celebrate every year, not only our daughter’s birthday with cake and a celebration but we also have a cake and light a candle to celebrate the birthdays of each of the victims that died that day.”
– Denise Morris, Mosquito Joe of Virginia Beach-Norfolk
“My 9/11 story actually occurred on September 10, 2011. I was flying as a Boeing 737 Captain for US Airways and we were landing at New York’s LaGuardia airport. As we approached runway 22, the airplane in front of us did not clear the runway in time for us to land, so the control tower instructed us to “Go Around”. That means we add power, climb back up and fly around for another approach…The standard approach for LaGuardia on clear days is normally up the Hudson by the Statue of Liberty and a turn around to land south on runway 22. On this flight, my co-pilot was flying the plane. As we went around and neared the south end of Manhattan we had a spectacular view of the World Trade Center. I got on the PA system and said, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. It’s two-for-one tour day today in New York. As we turn up the Hudson River, off the right side of the airplane is the World Trade Center and the best view you’ll ever see of those two buildings.’ The next day I sat stunned as I watched the buildings fall that I had flown over only about 12 hours earlier. I’ve often wondered how many passengers on that plane recall that moment and realized that it was not only the best view of those two buildings, but also the last.”
– Kurt Godwin, Mosquito Joe of Howard County
Every day we are grateful for those who serve our country and those who serve in our communities to keep us safe. Today, we remember those who lost their life in the September 11 attacks. We remember their friends and families and all those who pitched in and saved lives in the hours and days around the attacks. We are proud to stand tall as Americans in the face of such tragedies, and we will continue to keep all our fellow Americans in our thoughts and prayers.