This is a hard one to write, and I didn't even have family in the impacted areas 11 years ago.
I remember watching a morning show with breaking news and a camera shot of the New York City skyline. One of the towers had smoke billowing out of it.
Then the surreal moment as we all watched a second plane hit the second tower.
As I stood in my living room.
Then the Pentagon.
Then a field in PA.
Watching the first responders going up the stairs of the World Trade Center buildings, and wondering how many would be coming back down.
All too soon getting the awful answer to that question.
Shock. Horror. Disbelief. Anger.....lots of anger...
Phone calls to and from loved ones, checking in, checking up on each other.
Silence in the sky as United States airspace is closed to all commercial traffic.
Wondering if it was really over, or if there was more yet to come.
Eleven years later and I still have a hard time watching those clips, seeing the interviews, hearing a song that mentions the day. I still cry. Still cringe at that date on the calendar. The emotions are less intense now, mostly replaced with a deep, lingering, sense of sadness. And questions. How does one mourn as an individual, and as part of a country when the event is already just a paragraph in history books? How does a people and a country recover enough to rebuild and continue on?
We look back to history and to the memories of those who have recovered from other cataclysmic events. We see their resolve and determination to not let evil acts have the last say in their lives. We see their faith and belief in a God who is holy and just and perfect, merciful , mighty and loving. We listen as they remember what it was like to not know what each day would bring ,only that God had it under His control. We stand in honor for them as they participate in the days marking their service and sacrifice. We pray for those not yet home, who still stand watch. We live, love and remember to not take a single day for granted.
My children have never known a world without the War on Terror. Almost every aspect of their lives has been touched by the residual effects of that one day eleven years ago. Travel security, government identification, communications, national spending, even telephone conversations with relatives stationed in war torn countries have been a part of their formative years.
As a student and teacher of history, the one thing I can almost guarantee is that their generation will also have a 9/11 moment. My prayer is that we will have passed on to them the same faith and determination that has been exemplified for us.
because I hope I don't make a mockery of this tragedy and miss the class on that.