9-11-2001: A Gold Star Mother Remembers


On the morning of 9-11-2001 I woke up to “The World Trade Center got hit by a Plane.” I stopped to watch a minute or two of the news then went on to make breakfast and get my kids off to school… shortly after they were gone I laid down with my husband to watch the news coverage. “Was it on purpose or an accident?” The second plane hit as soon as I asked the question. We sat stunned for a minute… “That answers that question.” “We’re at war. This is our generations Pearl Harbor”


My husband had just come home from a 12 hr shift at work so he soon had to sleep. I spent the day watching the coverage…fighting every motherly urge I had to go get my kids and hold them close to me. I would go out and update the ladies who worked in the school cafeteria throughout the day. (we lived across the street from the school back then)

The images the media showed that day will haunt me for the rest of my life. My kids would come home one by one that afternoon. The youngest was home all day with me then but he was too young to comprehend why mom was sitting on the edge of the couch with tears streaming down her face. My daughter came home first… she hugged me and went to play. Only in 2nd grade she understood something bad had happened but she would not feel the impact on her own life that day. David and Micheal came home next. They were pissed and demanded to know “Who did it? Are we gonna kill them back?” Micheal whispered the word that I would later understand was his turning point in life. “Bullies” I think he made up his mind then he would join the military. Over the next few years he would consider other paths but in the end.. he had “Go stop the bullies.”

Every year as we remember 9-11 and those who perished that day, Gold Star families across our nations have similar stories to my own… it was a day that years later would change their lives in a very personal and most painful way.

Our sons and daughters would go off to fight this enemy who attacked us that September morning. And as we remember that day there comes moments when our pain becomes so overwhelming we cannot take part in the memorials and tributes so many present. It’s not that we don’t care.. we just hurt too much.

We mourn for the 2,973 men and women killed in the attacks that day and also for the 6026 men and women who have died to keep another such attack from happening to the US again.


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