It's The Norm
September 12-18, 2002 ARCHIVES
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9/11 Remembrance


by Norm Johnson
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As I sat before my computer trying to figure out what I wanted to write in remembering what occurred a year ago yesterday, I thought of many things: The shock of opening my eyes to answer a phone and being told to turn on my television, then watching unbelievably as the World Trade Center burned. That was bad enough, but the one photo that will never be erased from my memory bank is of the second plane heading into the other tower.

A lot has been written about the firemen, police and medics who lost their lives that morning and of course of the more than 2300 civilians killed as they tried to escape their fate. And many tributes have been bestowed on those who took back control of the fourth plane and crashed in a field. And every word said about the men and women who gave their life's were earned and gratefully bestowed. But, you know what, I have not seen a lot written about the passengers who rode in the three planes that crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon that terrible morning.

Did they know their fate before it happened? What thoughts were going through their minds as they saw their plane being taken over by a group of evil men. And when they saw the plane turning towards the towers (or towards Washington D.C.) what were they thinking? What did they really know? One can only imagine those thoughts? Was there any communication from the airplanes prior to the crash? I'm sorry, but I have been unable to remember much being said about them. And there were quite a few passengers killed that morning! Are they being considered for remembrances and how have their families coped with the loss? Are they being compensated by the government and from the funds donated to every charity in America? I would truly like to know. There were a lot of unsung heroes that morning and many of them have been honored. But to the best of my recollection no memorial has been mentioned dedicated to the passengers of the three planes. I could be wrong and I hope I am. Will they be part of the WTC memorial?

One thing is for sure Americans everywhere stopped for a few minutes yesterday and remembered the morning of 9/11. And, in their thoughts, I'm sure they thanked God they were not in one of those jets, nor in those building. And they also mentally thanked those men and women who fought a losing battle to save the buildings and who did save over 20,000 civilians that morning.

Prior to 9/11 we always respected our firemen, police and emergency medics who work 24/7 to protect our property and us. Now we wave at them and actually come out and say "Thanks." Why does it take a major disaster to bring out the best in us?

And how many of us rushed out to purchase an American flag so we could show our patriotism by flying it outside our home or on the car? It was beautiful to see cars and trucks going down the road displaying our flag. The American spirit was alive and well and we showed it. But why have we not continued it today, tomorrow and next month.

That's a good question I think. One I'm sure that cannot, nor will not be answered today. Not by me at least! I know not why we do the things we do, I only know that we always rise to the occasion for the time it is needed. Then we slowly return to normal. I believe that is what makes us, Americans all, so darn great when we need to be great. It is the American way and thank God for it!

I think that's it for this week. I'm outa here!

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