The Impact of 9-11 - Never Forget
Written by
Jennifer Jodziewicz
September 2016
Written by
Jennifer Jodziewicz
September 2016

On September 11, 2001, I was a receptionist at a church just a few miles away from the DFW Airport. I was isolated in the lobby and was the gatekeeper for anyone who entered the building through the front door. Every other door was passcode protected, including the two doors in the lobby that led to the staff offices behind me and up the stairs. I, in a way, was the protector of all who worked there.

At any given time there were anywhere from 4 to 10+ planes within view outside my wall of windows while I worked. The sound of plane engines roaring overhead was constant and became white noise that we all eventually tuned out while going about the daily routines.

Just a few minutes after 8:00am, central time, a coworker walked in with the most confused look on her face. “Have you heard what’s going on?”

I had arrived at work early and was at my station before the doors opened at 8:00. I shook my head, “No, what’s going on?”

On the way to swipe her fob to get through the staff door she says, “A passenger plane ran into a tower in New York.” Then she disappeared behind the closing door.

That was the first I heard of it. I sat there alone with that thought until the next person staggered in. “This is crazy. Have you heard what’s going on?”

“I heard a plane crashed in New York, that’s just terrible.”

“A second plane has hit a building. These are no accidents.” Shaking his head, he goes upstairs to the conference room and turns on the TV. As others arrive, they head up to join him.

Within the next hour, a chill begins to shiver across my skin as I become frighteningly aware of something I had never experienced there before. Silence. It was overwhelming. The roar of the planes we had gotten so used to were gone. I slowly looked out the window and for the first time, there were no planes in the sky. I squinted, I tilted my head, I looked around and above trees, but there was nothing. The sky had been cleared and I now felt I had entered some kind of alternate universe where nothing would ever be the same again.

Every sound now was over-stimulating to me. Every echo and step boomed. Every voice that tried to speak rang in my head before I could comprehend what they were actually saying – but there weren’t too many people who spoke that day. No one knew what to say.

People began calling the church, so we opened the prayer room as an option for people who didn’t know what to do, but wanted to do something, anything to show solidarity as a people, as a church, and as a nation.

Later that day, as my arms laid across my desk, I felt it begin to shake. Then I heard what sounded like an explosion in the air. Fear ran over my body like an ice-bath, but then, out my window, I saw them. There were two fighter jets, flying in formation overhead.

They were there for us. The explosion I heard was their sonic boom as they broke the barrier of sound while patrolling the skies above to ensure our safety. They were now the protector of all who lived here.

At that moment a stronger breed of patriotism was born in all who saluted them as they flew overhead. Tears ran down my face as I felt a new pride burst within me - for my country, for my fellow citizens, and for those who dedicated their life to protecting ours.

Now, 15 years later as I can still recall every detail, I can confirm that things were never the same again. It is a day, a time, and a feeling I will never forget.

#Honor911 #911Memorial #NeverForget

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