Never to be Forgotten

How One Day Shook a Country to Its Core

Where Do You Turn When a Plane Swallows a Building?

Nancy Blackman
4 min readSep 2, 2021


An Anniversary of a Day that Shook the Country. White rose on 9/11 memorial of names with light shining onto it. 9/11. memorial. terrorism. ground zero. new york city. united states
Photo by Willem-Jan Huisman on Unsplash

I remember the phone rang. The phone never rang that early. As I swabbed the sleep from my eyes, I noticed the clock. It was 8 am. I had been laid off, so listlessness was setting in.

“Hello?” I said, the scratchiness creeping up in the back of my throat.

“Get up! Turn on your TV!” It was my brother.

“Why? What’s happening?”

“Just get up!”


For the next two hours, I sat plastered to the visual box of movement. I saw a man floating off a tall building, falling to his death. I saw a plane crash into a high-rise building. I saw another plane crash in the middle of a field. My brain couldn’t untangle what I was seeing. I couldn’t move, and I barely breathed. I know I didn’t eat — not for a long while.

After a few hours, I finally got up. As I walked past my den, I saw an unopened box out of the side of my eye. It was a box of books. I tore the top open and rummaged until I found a Bible my brother had given me. I never declared myself a Christian, which is why my brother gave me this gift. He was trying to convince me.

That day, I was sure the answers were in this book called the Bible. I sat in the Old Testament for hours, reading and pouring through the stories. Nothing was resolved, but my heart was stirred.

On Friday night, I went online to a game I would often play, which was interactive with other players. One of the players was a Christian located a couple of hours north of me. As soon as I saw him come online, I hit my chat button.

“Is your church going to do something in remembrance of what has happened?”

“Probably. Why?”

He had been proselytizing for months. I wonder what was going through his head. Me, I was just devastated, unable to eat and knowing that something deep inside me needed to change.

That Friday, I made the drive north to stand on the beach with a small group of his church members. I felt awkward. I didn’t know what to do, so I listened. A man with a guitar…



Nancy Blackman

8X Top Writer. Editor. Writing Coach. Owner of Refresh the Soul publication. Read more of my writing: “Mixed Korean: Our Stories.”