GUEST COLUMN: 22 years after 9/11, and it never gets easier

Published 5:35 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

Sept. 11, 2001, started out like most days for me. I put the boys on the bus and headed into the house to finish drinking my coffee and watching “Today.”

I was watching and dozing trying to see the weather when I heard it: “Now breaking, there is a fire at the World Trade Center.”

I was intently watching the TV reporters covering the fire when the second plane hit.

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My heart sank into my shoes and I thought I was going to be sick. I ran screaming down the hall and into the bedroom, “We are at war.”

Needless to say, my husband just looked at me like I had gone completely crazy. I grabbed his hand and pulled him into the living room and pointed at the TV. At that point, I was sobbing.

Since it was a beautiful day, I went on to the Vicksburg National Military Park to take my dog for a walk. I took with me a small battery-operated radio and listened intently to the news. All the radio stations were covering 9/11. There was no music that morning.

It was there that I heard about the Pentagon being hit and the towers collapsing.

When I went to pick up my children from school — at the time they were 5 and 7 — I hugged them so tight and started to cry all over again. It had been such an unreal day.

How could I explain to them what had happened while they were at school?

As if the day couldn’t get any worse, it did. My mother called and said a family friend was missing in the Pentagon.

A few days later, another phone call from Mom: D.D. Dickerson had been found and he was gone. She also said that D.D.’s friend from grade school had been on American Airlines Flight 77.

Tragedy had truly come to Holmes County, Mississippi, on that beautiful, sunny, cloudless September day.

It seemed that we had just grieved for the people lost when we had to turn our attention to sending care packages, writing letters and praying for our nephew.

My nephew was a newbie in the National Guard and I didn’t want him to go to war, but our sniper deployed to Iraq twice as a part of the Global War on Terrorism.

9/11 was my generation’s Pearl Harbor, and I will never forget that day as long as I live. I still have a very hard time dealing with the emotions of the day.

God bless this mess of a country that we call home, because she is still the best beacon of freedom and liberty on the planet.

Tracye Prewitt works in the business office of The Vicksburg Post and serves as a digital media specialist. She can be contacted at