9/11: A Reflection


The 9/11 Memorial, with victim Thomas Mahon’s name written in his memory — Beth Mahon

September 11th, 2001, changed the lives of Americans forever. America was no longer the safe bubble that many grew up in. You had to ask yourself: What if I was in the Towers that day? What if I was on one of those planes? Good people had their lives taken from them on September 11th, but quite the opposite was discovered that day as well. September 11th was the day my parents found out they were having twins.

It was around seven in the morning. The crisp air caressed the trees as Monica and Mike Preston headed to their doctor. They were expecting some sort of news, and excitement could be felt in the hospital room.  

A heartbeat. Two, to be specific.

Not just one, but two fetuses with detectable heartbeats were found that day. I was one of them; my sister, Anna, was the other. The two were overjoyed; they knew they had a chance of twins or triplets, but they had no idea how probable it was.

My dad took a train a little while after the good news. My mom, on the other hand, went straight home. It was supposed to be a good day, but the small TV in her bedroom proved otherwise.

It was chaos. News channels reported an explosion in The North Twin Tower at 8:46 AM. Not even half an hour later, the second plane struck The South Tower. My dad was still in the city during that time, and Monica knew these explosions weren’t just some accident. No one knew exactly what happened yet, but they felt that something wasn’t right. Calls were hastily made that morning, with the intent of checking on family and friend’s well being. Mike wasn’t near the towers during the attacks, but a very close friend of my mom, Thomas Mahon, was last seen in 1 World Trade Center.

The day crept on. My mom was shaken with fear for both Mahon and his spouse, Beth Mahon. Mike was able to make it home seven hours after the initial attacks.

Mahon passed that day. Both of my parents and Beth were heartbroken. When I was born, my parents decided to give me the middle name “Thomas” to keep him in our memories.

I was born about eight months after the 9/11 tragedies, and so was my sister. The terrible day did provide a glimmer of hope for my parents; signs of life.

Innocent lives perished to the hands of al-Qaeda 17 years ago. Time hasn’t healed all of the wounds left open from loss. Many continue to suffer every day, living in the dark reality where terrible things can happen to good people. But, even in the darkest times, there may still be a heartbeat. Maybe even two.


Works Cited

Haigh, Phil. “When was 9/11, what time did the planes hit the World Trade Center and how many people died?” Metro, https://metro.co.uk/2017/09/11/when-was-911-what-time-did-the-planes-hit-the-world-trade-center-and-how-many-people-died-6918683/.