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Remembering 9/11 – Lori’s Recounts

I’ll be honest with you I don’t like remembering the day of 9/11 as most people don’t.  Things like that only happen in other countries or it happened to our grandparents, great-grandparents or the forefathers of our country.   But not anymore, it happened to us, our generation and our nation.  It was just like any other day for me.  I was up at 6am into the office by 7am.  I was on my computer at my desk and all of a sudden news alerts started flooding my email.  I ran into Mix studio and turned on the TV and that is when I saw the footage.  The smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center.   Then it happened the other plane hit the other tower.  In that moment I knew it wasn’t ever going to be the same for our country.  I found myself in tears.

Craig Allen/Getty Images

My phone started blowing up, we need to get the news on the air now, and within minutes every Program Director and DJ came busting through the station doors.  The program director for Mix 94.1 at the time was John McQueen, you see John grew up in New Jersey so New York was his home as well. I just remember standing in the studio with him watching the horror that was unfolding in our country.  He picked up the phone and called a friend in the New York area, another broadcaster and we had him on our airwaves for a bit, giving us a live account of what he was seeing.

I just remember walking back into my office and breaking down in tears, I had just heard a first person account of the bombing and I was watching the TV and seeing people jumping to their deaths because they didn’t want to burn to death.

I am thankful, that I didn’t have to go on the air that day.  I don’t think I would have been able to get a word out through the tears because at that moment I wasn’t Lori Crofford the on-air personality, I was Lori Crofford, the American who just watched her country attacked.

I was so proud of our country and Amarillo in the hours and days following the attacks.  We all rallied together, the amazing people who lined up at Coffee Memorial Blood Center wrapping around the building and at that time their building was a lot smaller, they were doing their American duty, they wanted to give the gift of life to save a life.  The tons of donations we received to try to get to those people directly affected.  I don’t think I have ever seen that much water in my life.

It was at that moment our entire country came together, it didn’t matter what race you were, what your sex or sexual orientation was, what your political affiliation was,  at that moment we were all American’s and we all felt the sting of this attack.  This was our country and these cowardly terrorists were not going to get away with attacking our country.

I remember that night after the attacks President Bush addressed our country.

Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.

The victims were in airplanes or in their offices. . . secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers.  Moms and dads.  Friends and neighbors.

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat.  But they have failed.  Our country is strong.  A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.  These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.  And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans.  Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared.  Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, DC, to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption.  Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow.

Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts.  I’ve directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice.  We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks.  And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened.  And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:  “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace.  America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.

None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you.  Good night and God bless America.

Today as I write this, I find myself in tears.  Seeing all the videos again, and going back to those moments.  I find that the wounds of that day are still raw.  I was no where near New York City or Washington, or Pennsylvania, I was right here in Amarillo, Texas, but again I am an American and they tried to destroy my country.

My heart goes out still to those families who lost their loved ones, their husbands and wives, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends and co-workers.  My heart goes out to those children who never got to meet their daddies.

Ten years later, I wish we were as together as we were then.  It just seems ten years later this country has forgotten how proud we were of our country on that fateful day and in that fateful year.  I just wish we could get that feeling of Patriotism back in 2011.

I go back to one part of President Bush’s speech:

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened.  And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:  “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

…Good night and God bless America.

“Tonight, I ask for your prayers…God Bless America”  I don’t know what your beliefs are, but I know what my beliefs are, and I do believe that is what is missing in our country today, and that is God.  I am thankful that our President acknowledged God on that day.

So those are my recounts of that horrible day 10 years ago.  What were yours, I would love for you to share those with us as well.

As we watch the replay of that day on our TVs and see everyone mentioning and talking and reliving that day on our computers, phones, iPads etc.  I just want to say

God Bless America! because we have a Great Nation and a Great Country.

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