I don't know how often other people think of the events of 9/11. But, I think about them more than I thought I would, over the years. Perhaps it's the TIME magazine special edition that I keep on my bookshelf, that I see weekly. But, the feelings of shock still come to the surface.
When we were planning our trip to Florida in June, yes almost 11 years later, it was on my mind. I've never flown before that trip. Thinking about flying was nerve-wracking and honestly, I was afraid I'd be prejudice about who was on the plane and if something like 9/11 would happen again when I flew. I had to pray and just stop thinking about such thoughts, people were flying the next day after those tragedies. Can't live life in fear.
But, whenever those shots, screen images, the footage appears, I am captivated, rooted to the spot. I can't take my eyes off it. Imagining those being stuck in the buildings, those on the planes knowing what the end result would be, those looking for loved ones...my brain cannot fathom, nor does it want to. Yet, I can't turn away. I actually had to have Kian turn off the tv because I just couldn't stop watching this morning. Much like that original day...
I remember, I had gone to my Criminal Justice class at 9am, like every day. I had a cell phone, for "emergencies" because not everyone had them and I barely used it. I was dating a Marine, active duty marine in California Camp Pendleton. My cell phone rang right after class started. I silenced it. Noted it was him, thought it a bit odd, since it would have only been 6 am thereon base. It rang again. And again. I silenced it 3 times before I shut the power off. I really wanted to go in the hallway and answer it, but didn't want to be the jerk of the class and piss the teacher off. An hour later, I left the class, turned the phone on to a dozen calls and messages from him. At that point, there was whispering and talk on campus about what was going on. He was freaking out for my safety and also that he might be deployed, etc. I went straight to my dorm apartment. We turned the tv on and watched...and watched...and I don't remember much else that day. There were prayer services. We all just watched and were afraid being in NY (since NYC and PA were hit) that we might be in danger as well. Prayed and watched in horror.
People say there is one event in your life where you will remember every detail, what was said, what you wore, what it was like, for the rest of your life, changing the course of history. I have lots of days and events I remember in detail, but the emotion and rawness of this day makes others pale in comparison. For some, it is one of the World Wars, for others it's the day Kennedy was assassinated, or similar event. Being in a relationship with a military member, having the inside information on their lives, how it ran, how the government would deploy, being introduced to a whole new aspect of this event...appreciating much more and realizing true commitment and sacrifice, without question. Something, that hardly anyone else is, does or realizes.
As we do our lessons today, I will teach my boys about 9/11. I will talk to them about patriotism. I let them see and watch the footage. I will explain as best I can. I will not downplay it, sugarcoat it or pass over it. And we will pray for our country.