---Alice Abrams

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Echoes of 9/11...still

They released more 911 calls from people who perished in the Twin Towers on 9/11. I listened to a young woman who asked the 911 operator if she was going to die...the operator asked her if she wanted her to try and connect her mother to her. She told her to say her prayers and not give up. The girl, Melissa, didn't make it out alive. I wept, listening to these calls. Parents, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives and lovers....all listening to the last words of their loved ones, after five years of not knowing exactly what their last minutes were like.

I thought of my girls and wondered if I would want to hear them in their last moments. What a wretched choice! Knowing that they were talking to someone that was encouraging them (not all of them were that fortunate and died alone) would offer some solace, but hearing the overwhelming fear in Melissa's voice, the young woman turning into a child again, asking "Am I going to die?" Could I stand that? Would I be strong enough to hear Corinne or Leah's voice, asking "Am I going to die?" Knowing that I wasn't there in their place or at the least, to die with them. And then I think of the hundreds of firemen's families that are listening to their last words today...

I look at the picture and realize how fleeting the time together on this earth is. I love my girls deeply and yet I don't spend nearly enough time with them. One day, in the not-so-distant future, it will be too late to hop in the car and go see them whenever I want. Bob and Leah may take a career move out of state and Corinne may not stay in town. Who knows where the future will take us all? I want to wrap my arms around them right at this very moment and never let them go.

What a hell the crazed fanatics unleashed on our country. The sadness and sorrow will linger on for years to come. We should all be on our knees thanking God that their latest plan to destroy planes over the ocean today was thwarted, but we must continue to be inconvenienced at the airports in order to protect all the other Melissa's and the thousands like her that perished that day.

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