Eight years ago today I answered the phone to hear my daughter’s trembling voice. “Mama, are you watching T.V.? Are you watching the news?” We weren’t, but immediately changed channels to see what was happening.

The rest of the day was surreal. My husband and I sat in front of the television as the second plane hit the towers. We saw the carnage at the Pentagon. We watched in horror as the World Trade Center buildings collapsed and the dust and debris billowed down the streets of New York like an ash flow rushing down the side of a volcano. We listened to reports of a third plane that was missing, and then reported as crashed.

Emotions were raw. Pain and agony ripped through our hearts for the dead, dying, and their families; admiration for the heroes who dashed in to help and met their deaths in the effort; anger that reached the very depths of our souls at whoever planned and carried out these acts of unheard of violence; fear that it was not over and more violence would continue through the day.

We will never forget.

Few other events are seared into my memory like September 11, 2001. One is the Challenger disaster, the other, JFK’s assignation. As bad as they were, they pale in comparison.

Eight years have gone by and we all pause today in our own ways to remember the heroes that died that day. People like us, going about their daily routine, harming no one; victims’ of a horrid act of terrorism and cold-blooded murder.

Let us all pause today and put aside our own concerns for a few moments. Let us pause and reflect on September 11, 2001. Let us say a prayer for those lost to us and their families who continue to live with that loss.

And never, ever forget 9-11-2001.