Every year, it seems as if people ask that question, where were you on September 11th? No one even has to say 2001, we all know what it means, like asking where you were when Kennedy was assassinated (for those over the age of 50) or when Pearl Harbor was bombed. It’s not hard to remember such a day as 9/11. Because our generation never had to experience Pearl Harbor, that day we lost a feeling of innocence and security. Instead, we gained a realization that there at nations out there that truly hate us and have no moral compass about showing such hate. It’s a time when people either turned to God for guidance and comfort or cursed him, questioning his willingness to let so many people die. Whether or not you are a Bush supporter, you have to admit that he had a very difficult time. After all, he’d just been President for a few months and suddenly he’s thrust headlong into a terrorist situation. But, he did pull us together. As a nation, we united in fear and sorrow then eventually hope.
For me, my sons were little, Matthew was 8 (now he’s 20), Alex was 4 and Adam was 3, the latter two were in preschool. I was getting them ready for preschool when my Mother called and told me to turn on CNN, that a plane had hit a building. Of course watching it, we both speculated that it must have been an accident, a plane malfunction. I don’t think terrorist attack ever entered my mind. As we were talking and watching, we saw the second plane hit and we both just freaked out. Obviously this was no accident now. We were scared. What or who was next to be hit? I thought of Los Angeles, Chicago…..how bad could this get?
After I dropped off the boys to preschool, I came home and was glued to the TV, as we all were, just watching and praying that nothing else would happen. Of course it did. The Pentagon was hit by a plane, while a fourth plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania. It was strange to see airliners being forced out to land, having to set down anywhere they could, including Canada ( thank you, Canada for being so accommodating and hospitable to our stranded Americans! ). Families were separated, businesses shut down and yes, as the song says, it did seem as if the world stopped spinning.
But we recovered. And 12 years later we remember. Instead of pain, we recall acts of heroism by firefighters, first responders and even civilians as they did all they could to save their co-workers from the burning buildings. We still honor those who died on the plane in Pennsylvania, downing the aircraft into a field instead of letting it crash into it’s intended target, the White House. We do these things because that’s what we should be doing. Learning and showing that we can overcome tragedy if we just pull together. If you read your history, you’ll know that we, as a country might get knocked down, but we always….always get up. That’s what it is to be American and that’s what I’ll remember about 9/11.
Take care and have a blessed day.