Editor’s Note: The essay below was written in 2001 and appears in the self-published book, Through Our Eyes: A Tapestry of Words and Images in Response to September 11. Printed and distributed in 2002, the book was the result of an independent, volunteer documentary project organized by a journalist and several friends. The author’s bio was written in 2002 and has not been updated.
Commerce Township, Michigan
Faith Joan Dickmeyer – a 33-year-old homemaker and dedicated mother – was born in Detroit, Michigan, and today lives in Commerce Township, Michigan. She and her husband have two children and are expecting another in June. Faith’s interests include reading, horseback riding, cooking, camping, boating and spending time with her family. She has traveled to Hawaii and the southern United States. She is Catholic. On the morning of Sept. 11, Faith was at home looking for the weather on the TV when she came across news about the attack. She wrote her essay around Feb. 7.
I just happened to be looking for the weather and I saw the second plane hit live. I was frozen. None of the commentators/reporters knew what was happening at the time and all were in disbelief. As a parent, I thought, “Oh good Lord, what about the families of all those people!” It was a beautiful sunny day in Michigan, but there might as well have been a dangerous tornado, because I was afraid to take my kids outside or to go anywhere – our wonderful country was not as safe as we thought just 30 minutes prior. I called my husband on his cell phone and urged him to be careful and to get gas; we didn’t know what could lie ahead.
I remember listening to our President who was under such scrutiny since he took over and felt that our present leader would take care of us and would not let the criminals responsible for this horrible tragedy get away with it. The President let us know we need to be careful, but that we as Americans would pull through and prevail. It was the first time in my life I felt the true meaning of Patriotism, and I cried.
Two days after September 11th, the President urged all people to attend a prayer service no matter what faith we believed. I did with my two kids, and I cried the whole time. There were many people at our Catholic church who were turning in the right direction. For the first time I can remember, spirituality was a “good thing” and our President was urging us to turn to God.
I got pregnant for the third time shortly after September 11th, and we saw the fragility of life and how we need to embrace it.
Life will never quite be the same, but people pulled together when we needed to most. God Bless America!