Today is one of those days. I can only imagine, the way I feel today, is somewhat like what the people who were alive during Pearl Harbor and the air raids of the 1940’s had. I get tense, usually for a few days leading up to today’s anniversary, and stay tense for a few days after. I am irritated by the fact that as a stay-at-home-mom and I’m rarely aware of the actual date, unless watch the news on a regular basis. I knew today was coming, but I didn’t realize it was the 11th today, until I opened up my Facebook this morning, and it was like my gut turned to cement. I got sad, angry and nervous all at once. I can still acutely remember the fear and stress of that day, 11 years ago.
We had just moved to Ooltewah, Tennessee, at the beginning of August. We had a 25 month old, and an almost 2 month old. I was listening to a local Christian radio station, since we hadn’t had cable installed yet, so hadn’t even bothered to plug-in the t.v. I remember them reporting about the first plane. I assumed it was just a tragic accident, with a small, private plane. As the reporting continued, I started to feel panicky. I wrestled with the t.v. and actually managed to get a local news station to come in with the rabbit ears. After the second plane hit the towers, I called the Hubby at work, and begged him to come home. All I could think was “How many? How many planes do they have?” and “It has to be over now. No more.”
But it wasn’t over. We all know that. (I am feeling sick to my stomach, just thinking about it right now.) There were two more. The Towers came crashing down to earth.
Nothing like this had ever happened in my lifetime. Nothing had hurt Us like this before. Sure, I’d been watching as a kid, when the Challenger exploded in 1986, and it was terrible, and we cried, and it was all we talked about for days, but nothing on this scale. I remember the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. I remembered Oklahoma City in 1995. I was in college when that happened, and it was tragic. Compared to that September morning, they all seemed less scary. Accidents, or random things done by random crazies. This day was different.
I know how so many feel about President Bush, but I saw that man’s face when a staff member whispered in his ear what was happening, while he was reading to a group of very young school children. And I was proud of our President. I was proud of our country. I AM proud of our country. I wish, with all my heart I could feel like we had the same fire, the same patriotism, we had the firsts couple of years after 9/11. I pray that we can get back to that, without another tragedy.
I remember on that day crying my eyes out. I remember squeezing my Pally, my two-month old so tightly to me, she squeaked. I remember Bug, asking me why I was crying. I remember the Hubby coming home in the early afternoon, and not wanting to let him go, and asking him what we were going to do. I remember in the months following, the many, many talks we had about him re-enlisting in the military. I remember not wanting to turn on the t.v. or the radio for fear of more scary information. I sometimes think on the whole, every one was nervous for the first year. Then when nothing else happened, we all started to relax, we stopped expecting something to happen. Not me. Every 9/11, I wait. I worry. I watch. If we commemorate the day with ceremonies and mourning, why wouldn’t the terrorist groups celebrate by planning a repeat? (Sorry, if I just sent anyone’s anxiety off the charts.) This is how my brain works.
So, today, I send my husband off to work, and my kids off to school, praying that there isn’t a repeat in their lifetime. Waiting until the kids get home, to have a discussion about what today means, so that THEY never forget. I remember December 7. I was taught what it means. I plan to do the same with my 9/11.
So for today, hold your family tight, pray for your Country, don’t allow all the coverage to numb you to what happened to us that day, eleven years ago. Remember. Remember what it means. Do not allow yourself to be paralyzed by fear. Do not allow yourself to become complacent, thinking it can never happen again. Do not get flustered by all the coverage. Talk to your kids. Talk to your family. Remember.