Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Moments of Silence

Like everyone I know, I can tell you exactly where I was on 9/11.  My car radio was being dumb, and it wouldn't turn on until almost an hour into my commute.  When it finally did come on, I was quite literally 10 minutes away from work and I listened in shock.  I arrived at work and we all gathered around the TV in the owner's office and watched it all unfold live.

I remember wondering what it was going to be like to be at war.  How our country would survive. Then we heard about the attack on the pentagon and I was calling my parents like mad trying to be sure this wasn't one of the days my Dad was there.  As a Navy contractor, he was at the Pentagon off and on.

And then we heard about flight 93, crash landing in a field in Pennsylvania as passengers and crew tried to regain control of the plane from terrorist.

I reached out to my ex-husband, knowing he was working in New York as a contractor.  And it took me almost a week to track down my friend Joe who lived and worked in New York for UPS at the time.  His route took him to the World Trade Center every day.  I heard from my friend Jen, that her mom was actually in one of the towers when it was struck.  She was there on business as an out of towner.  When they told everyone they could re-enter the building, she decided to go back to her hotel instead.  Best decision she ever made.  And when it was all said and done, and the death toll counted...

I cried.

I remember weeks of driving to work and not seeing a plane in the sky and thinking how weird it was.  I remember the flags flying on my car.  On everyone's cars.  I remember The Hubs putting his Marine Corp flag and American flag out every day.  I remember a tearful conversation on the floor of our kitchen and a painful decision about whether to re-enlist knowing it would end his chances of retaining custody of his kids, or staying home, out of this fight, so he could be here for his two girls.  I remember the overwhelming feeling of this event having awakened the sleeping lion that is America.  I remember feeling a terrible pride and knowing that we would not let this go unchallenged.  I remember the tight fear in my chest of where this would take us, wondering how many lives would be lost, and still feeling like we had to.  I was never very good at turning the other cheek.

I suspect you'll hear similar stories from a lot of people today.  You'll hear open thank yous to our military, who watch our borders so we can sleep safe.  You'll hear people asking you to thank our firemen and police officers.  And you'll hear people asking you to remember, and to never forget.. as if we could.  Mostly, though, I just hope people take a moment to stop.  That there are little moments of silence going on all through-out today, all across America.  Just a few minutes of wakefulness for that sleeping lion; for us to remember all of those who fell, and those who rose from the ashes.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I am crying right now, you made the picture of that day so vivid. I too was in shock, seeing and knowing that people were dying all around. I would never ever ever forget that day, what I was doing or where I was going. That day changed me and America too. God Bless her! I will give my moment of silence.