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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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A Day That Changed Us All....By Kendall Victor Smith, Paramedic
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, September 08, 2003

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September 11, 2001, as viewed by a paramedic in Tennessee. He was especially affected by the tragic events of that day because many lives were lost, including those who bravely tried to save the lives of the injured. One of his cousins, a firefighter, had been killed in the attacks; he died when the second tower fell; he was in the towers, helping the injured, when it fell, killing him instantly.

Kendall is still very bitter about the attacks that killed his cousin, and nearly two years later, he is still having a rough time emotionally.

I don't think I shall ever forget September 11, 2001, as long as I live and breathe.

This is Kendall Victor Smith speaking. I am a paramedic. And I was affected by September 11, 2001, in a painful and dramatic way. You see, I had a cousin who worked as a firefighter in New York City, and he ended up dying as a result of the terrorist attacks upon our nation.

My cousin, Marcus DuWayne Smith, lived and worked in New York City, and he was a firefighter. He died when the second tower collapsed. He was only 29 when he died, leaving behind a wife, TaSheryl, and his twin daughters, Madysin Latrice and Michelle Patrice, who were then a few months old. He had been in the tower, helping the injured, when the building fell; and he died. The little girls are now nearly two years old; and they never even knew their daddy, nor will they ever.

When I heard the news of my cousin's death, I cried; and I couldn't believe it. It took a few days to find this out, but a few days later, they found pieces of his body, and when they were able to identify it, they positively identified it as my cousin, Marcus DuWayne Smith.

The attacks suddenly took on a whole new meaning. While it was disturbing and shocking to watch the events as they unfolded on our television sets, it was even more so when I learned of my cousin's death. I suddenly became very angry, and I wanted nothing more than to see those bastards who had done this evil deed to our country caught and punished for their actions. I wanted them to burn in hell, and I wanted Osama bin Laden, the leader said to be behind the attacks, found and caught. I was angry because they had senselessly murdered thousands of innocent women, men, and even children with absolutely no regard for human life; and they were claiming that they were doing it for "religious purposes." If they were so religious, then WHY were they slaughtering people who didn't deserve to die in such a horrible and heinous way?

In one horrifying instant, life as we knew it before September 11, 2001, ended; and life took on a sudden and dramatic turn. People were now scared, and they were afraid as to what would happen next--and WHEN--, and schools, businesses, and even government and national attractions were grounded to a halt; and even our military bases and airports closed. The entire country was on lockdown; and security measures were upped dramatically. People lost loved ones in the attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, and even when that plane crashed in the Pennsylvania field, and our country was placed on a high terror alert, for fear of more impending attacks.

The safe, carefree days prior to the terror attacks were now gone; and this was the single worst disaster in our country's history since the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese. It turned out that nearly 3,000 lives were lost on September 11, 2001.

One of those lives was that of my cousin, Marcus DuWayne Smith, a firefighter, who died trying to save the lives of others. My life is forever changed, and I am still grieving over his death, especially now that the anniversary of September 11, 2001, is approaching. In three days, it will be two years since our country was attacked, and once again, I shall be reliving the horror of that day all over again and paying my respects to my dead cousin at the memorial our city is holding.

Rachel, my wife, doesn't really understand how I feel inside; she tells me that I have to get over it; but the truth of the matter is, I will NEVER "get over it". I can't forget what happened on that day, and I can't ever forget that terrorists killed my cousin; and because of that I am very angry and bitter inside. I suddenly find myself hating people of the Muslim faith, and I find them disgusting; and I can't deal with the bad memories. I can't sleep as well as I used to, and whenever I try to, all I see in my mind are the horrifying images of the planes hitting the two towers, seeing them burning, and then falling into oblivion; and I can't comprehend the actions behind the attacks; or WHY we were attacked in such an evil way. Because of the terrorists, my cousin is DEAD, and there is absolutely NOTHING that can be done to change that. EVER.

I wish I could get over my anger of that day, but the truth is, I can't. I have been going to counseling, but the truth of the matter is, I don't see what good any of it has done to me because I still feel the anger, and I still feel the frustration that nothing is being done to bring these terrorists down or to justice for their crimes. I don't see why we are fighting in Iraq in the first place; we have our own problems here, and I don't know why we aren't taking care of OUR own instead of acting as the "world's police" for other nations.

Sure, people can say they were affected by September 11, 2001, but how MANY can ACTUALLY say that they ACTUALLY knew someone who died in the attacks, as I did? People are always telling me that things are going to be okay, but I don't see how. And they don't understand how my heart still bleeds for my cousin; and September 11, 2001, is a very painful day for me. I tell them that unless they knew someone who died, they can't possibly even IMAGINE or COMPREHEND just what my heart is feeling right now. Don't assume they know how I feel because I am here to say that they DON'T know.

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 9/8/2003
This was a very dramatic piece, about a moment that affect us alll...
God Bless
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/8/2003

(((HUGS))) powerful, emotional, heartfelt write--i hope kendall is able to learn how to forgive...he will never forget *as will none of us*, but maybe down the road he will forgive.

well written!

i will never forget--and will always remember. i hate what the terrorists did, but don't hate them--i pray for them, because Jesus said to pray for those that hurt you, that persecute you

(((HUGS))) and much love,

karla. :(
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/8/2003
So heartfelt and sad Karen!!

No one will or can ever know how you really feel if you lose some one close to your heart!!

It's only human!!

Heartwrenching write my friend!!

Love Tinka

Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero 9/8/2003
Very dramatic moment for all of us. And though some of us haven't lost a loved one on September 11, many of us have lost people close to us to crime. And while the pain is understandable, it has to be let go of. And I hope Kendall finds that moment; for his own sake, and that of his family. Good read, Karen.


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