Memories still vivid of Sept. 11 — 15 years later

ESCANABA – “Aahh, oh, hot!” Those simple, little words totally sum up Sept. 11, 2001 for me.

“Aahh, oh, hot,” words spoken by my two year old son with his round, cherub like face pushed against the TV screen as he watched the dark smoke billow out of the Twin Towers. It is an image I’ll never forget.

Shocking and sad and forever etched into our brains, the day the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center is like the day President Kennedy was assassinated, something unforgettable.

Ask your grandparents what they were doing the moment they received the news that JFK’s motor cade had been struck by bullets. They will recall exactly what they were doing and where they were. Quiz your parents about the space shuttle Challenger disaster on 1986.

Many of them will remember being at school and watching the white cloud of smoke, the disbelief, and the disappointment.

This Sunday marks the fifteenth anniversary of the tragedies in New York and in Virginia at the Pentagon on that Sept. 11, 2001.

Fifteen years already and I still remember where I was sitting at work when a co-worker looking at her computer screen said “Hey, look what’s going on here.”

I glanced over her shoulder at the monitor and said “That’s not for real, is it?” hoping and praying that the burning building was some sort of science fiction flick.

Within the next hour my dad was on the phone asking me if we had the news on. In a choking voice that I only heard my dad use a few times in his life, he told me that a plane slammed into the Pentagon building too.

After work at home, my husband, two year old son and I watched (as everyone did) on TV the horrific events of 9/11. I cradled and rocked my unborn daughter within me and wondered what kind of a world was I bringing her into.

Young Bob who was already used to being by woodstoves and campfires, kept repeating his caution, “Aahh, oh, hot!”

And he was so right, the world has changed into a hotter more volatile and violent place since then. National security was beefed up from Washington D.C. to the municipalities of Delta County.

Since that sad day in September of 2001, our lifestyles have changed.

I remember, after the tragedy, folks gathered on the front steps of their homes lighting candles and praying for all of the victims praying for our country and the world.

“Aahh, oh, hot!” is a day that we should remember. The best way to remember it is by praying for world peace with our families and friends.

Since that fateful day, all too often it seems that I’ve come home to hear the news of more terrorists’ activity, and senseless shootings and acts of violence.

Often authors write about “man versus nature”. Living in Upper Michigan we all know about predator and prey and the harshness that Mother Nature seems to dish out, but nothing is as harsh or deadly as “man versus man”.

Take some time to be one with nature this weekend. Disconnect from the world, turn your cell phone off, and listen to a river flowing or a tree growing.

Peace begins at home and pass it on.

Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.