Remembering Sept. 11, 2001

I’d just started my new Web Design business three months previously and was actively seeking new clients and new projects.

Earlier in the week I’d been contacted by one of the officers of our local shopping mall association. They had a Website but it wasn’t doing everything they wanted it to, nor did it look as inviting as they knew shoppers expected.

Would I come by the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and do a presentation for them? Nothing too fancy, nothing too formal. Just kind of let them know how I could transform their online presence, as well as a general idea how much that would cost.

Sure. Of course. I was elated! Something this big had the potential of changing my life.

Gathering my presentation materials — informational fliers, business cards, etc. — that morning, I fought back a case of nerves as I pulled into the mall parking lot.

I’ve met most of these people before, I told myself. I can do this. It won’t cost them a fortune. I need the business, and doing such a potentially-extensive site will look good on my portfolio.

I had my car radio on but wasn’t really listening to it. I was previewing in my mind’s eye my presentation — visualizing success, I believe they call it.

Suddenly the announcer screamed something like, “Oh, my God, NO!” and started talking about a plane flying into a tower in New York City.

The news-hound in me wanted to learn more. I wanted to be in front of the TV like I was during Space Shuttle Challenger’s ill-fated explosion shortly after takeoff in 1986.

It was incomprehensible to me that, in the midst of all that destruction and loss of life, my life was going on.

Now my nerves became super-charged as I walked into the mall. Everyone was talking about the disaster, speculating on the whys and whos. After introductions, I began my presentation, sensing that no one was really listening, no one was really caring.

I could hardly wait to wrap things up, to get back home where I could glue myself to the TV.

And I did. Just like hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

My Flag will be flying tomorrow, and my thoughts and prayers will be offered up for my innocent fellow Americans who lost their lives, their family members, their jobs.

By the way, I wasn’t selected for the mall project, but my life did change — other projects have come along, other BIG news has taken place. I’ve come to a deeper faith, to an inner conviction that, regardless of what terrors this world throws at us, the final outcome is cause for joy. God wins!

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8 thoughts on “Remembering Sept. 11, 2001

  1. All of our life’s DID change on that fateful day. My flag will fly along side your’s. One of the things I treasure about September 11 is before the blame began to fly there was a sense of what could really BE if UNITED we stood as one Nation (World) under god (all gods)

    Thank you for sharing.

    • You’re so right — we caught a glimpse of what it meant to be united that day and in the weeks that followed. Would that we could put aside our differences and embrace our fellow men as the pilgrims we all are in this adventure we call Life!

  2. Debbie,
    I appreciate your hopeful message about the blessings that can come out of the unspeakable tragedy of 9/11. Yes united we stand,one nation under God. The deep wounds of loss has transformed into a deep resolve to stay united. My thoughts and prayers are with the surviving families and friends of those who paid the ultimate price. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Kathy, I’ll be praying right with you! It saddens me to think how quickly things can change, how in the blink of an eye life can be snuffed out. One day maybe God will explain it to us!

  3. Wow, what a story, Debbie. I can only imagine you soldiering through that preso when the whole flippin’ world was falling apart. I’m glad you ended up getting more and more work in your new biz, and wish you the best in that. But your big start was so horrendous it’s almost funny.
    Have a peaceful and loving Sunday.

    • Thanks for understanding, Lynne. Yes, it was almost impossible to concentrate (for me or for my audience) with everything turning to dust around us. Thankfully, that’s all in the past, and we can only pray to be spared from similar tragedies in the future.

  4. I don’t think I could have finished the presentation.

    I first heard about the attacks while driving into work. I listened to the radio all day to get updates, but I didn’t get to a TV until that evening. I was horrified by what I saw – it just didn’t seem like it could be real.

    I especially like your last paragraph and the hope you convey. Deeper faith is a good thing to come from the tragedy.

    • At least I had a good excuse for being so nervous while presenting! And I don’t know how you managed to wait all day before climbing in front of a TV. I remember watching it over and over, just like with the Challenger. It was really tough trying to explain it to my son, who was just 10 at the time. Thanks for your comments!

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