Tribute to My Father on This Day of Remembrance

For the last nine years, September 11 has always made me extremely nostalgic and appreciative in so many ways I never thought I’d ever realize in my life. It really doesn’t feel like nine years have gone by since our country was changed for the worst, and  also for the better. I still remember it like it just happened.

Sitting in the cinder-blocked lined walls of Ms.Novak’s Algebra 1 class and hearing that dreaded announcement from the principal peep through the intercom in the ceiling. “Two planes have crashed in New York City and one has crashed near the Pentagon. If anyone needs to call their parents, they may do so at this time.”

Hours later, I found out through other classmates that “crashed in” really meant “crashed into.” I’ve tried to describe what was going through my mind at that moment I realized a plane slashed its way into my father’s office building, but to this day, I cannot describe it in a way that anyone but myself can feel the distress, adrenaline, and sadness I felt soaring through my entire body in a matter of seconds.

I was more than blessed to have my father spared that day. I still remember the moment I heard his voice answer the house phone when I finally was able to get through in my counselor’s office. I remember the relief. I remember the happiness. But all along I knew there were so many people who were not as fortunate as I on that day.

A brother and sister from my high school lost their father that morning. He was on the plane that went into the Pentagon. I prayed for them for months afterward and only imagined the extreme pain and hurt they are probably still dealing with today.

Three co-workers of my father’s were killed that day setting up their new office the rest of the workers were supposed to transfer to three weeks after the attacks. I don’t know if they ever found anything remaining from those men as they remained on the “missing” list for weeks.

Even though my father and I don’t get along about, oh, 99% of the time, I still want him and everyone else to know how much I appreciate what he’s done for me. And how I realized, more than ever, on that day what it meant to be a “military brat.” And most importantly, I realized how close I was to loosing him, and to this day still remember how sick it made me feel to think I could have lost him.

I love you, Dad, and I thank you for all you have done for me over the last 23 years. You put your life in danger for me, my mother, my sister, and this country. We are ever appreciative of your service and love. I LOVE YOU!

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3 thoughts on “Tribute to My Father on This Day of Remembrance

  1. This is beautiful. I can’t believe you were so close to the tragedy. Thank God everything worked out well for you. I can’t imagine ever going back to normal after losing my dad.

  2. Very sweet and moving! I know it was hard for you and your mom and others to reconcile the thought of my service and the inherent dangers that come with the profession. These things were brought into focus that day in a place and time that seemed untouchable by such acts of unimaginable violence. We are all vulnerable and life is fragile. Perhaps what matters most is what one makes of life. There is no greater feat or deed for us mortals than to accept what Jesus did for us all. He saved us long before 9-11. All else in life is gain. Thanks for thinking of me. We get along more than 1% of the time–no?

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