Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Remembrance

Today is September 11, 2011. Ten years after the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the attempted attack on the Capitol. It is hard to believe it has already been ten years. Like many, every year on this day I think back to that morning, where I was, what I was doing, who I was with. Living on the west coast I was asleep that morning when the first plane hit the first tower. I was awakened by a phone call from my roommate Courtney's boyfriend's friend. I didn't know him well and was startled when I said hello and he immediately said, "The United States is under attack by terrorists, turn on your TV!" I was still groggy from being awakened by the call and I think I responded with, "Who the hell is this?" When I learned who it was and he gave me more details, I turned on my TV to the image that has been ingrained in all our brains, the first tower hit, fire, smoke, but not yet the second. The image was being narrated by Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. I remember all the reporters, news anchors trying to hold it together, sound articulate as they did their jobs, trying to hold back emotion... Then the second tower was hit right before my eyes on TV. Seeing that happen was unimaginable, horrific, and devastating. Shortly after Courtney came home with Ethan and we sat and watched in awe, sadness and complete shock for hours. I called in to work, at the time I worked in downtown Seattle in somewhat of a high-rise building on the 6th floor. We were told to come in when we were ready and that we shouldn't worry about an attack in Seattle. I ended up going in around 1 p.m. where we all sat in our conference room in a daze just starring at the TV for hours. 

In April of 2002, Scott and I took a long weekend trip to NYC. We went to Ground Zero. It was my first trip to New York so I never had the opportunity to experience the World Trade Center in all its glory. What we saw shook us to our very core. The destruction was ever present, the area completely blocked off, flowers and thousands of flyers with hand written  messages to loved ones posted on all the plywood surrounding the area. It was heart-wrenching and sobering. I remember thinking that our world as we know it will be forever changed, there is pure evil out there. I'm not Pollyanna by any means and most of the time I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. But, I have never in all my life believed that something like what happened on September 11, 2001 could happen in our country. My heart aches for  all those innocent men and women and children, their lives taken from them, their families who are left to live without their loved ones. Sometimes I just can't go there...While we were there the image that I remember so clearly as Scott and I ventured out into the city was this one... it took me to a place of prayer, peace, calm, hope, and remembrance for all those who lost so much.

So on this day of remembrance, it started as my days often do, up with one of the boys fairly year, this time it was with Colby and I was able to view some of the ceremonies taking place at the exact times of the attacks. After an hour or so off and on as I got breakfast ready and did other things, I just couldn't watch and listen anymore. It has been ten years but it still seems so fresh, the scar not fully healed. Even though I did not lose anyone close to me, I think because I am a mom now it hit home much more than it ever has on prior anniversaries. It is unfathomable for me to think of losing my husband, my children, parents, siblings, any family member or friend for that matter in a tragedy like this. Honestly, the randomness and complete disregard for human life scares the hell out of me. It could have been me, Scott, my mom or dad, brother or sister just as easily as it was those on Flight 93 or the other flights that hit the towers. I just couldn't go there this morning, I had to turn it all off, the TV, facebook all of it and have a day of being thankful for all I have, my kids, my husband and the glorious sunny day we had yet again today. 

And so, after watching for a bit while Colby played, Scott and Chase got up and we made pancakes and got on with our day. I had a nice chat with my mom, and then Chase and I had a wonderful day spending hours outside, replanting our herb garden in a new spot in our backyard, watering the hydrangeas, deadheading the roses and others and going for rides in the wheel barrow over and over again up and down the hill in our backyard... Chase rode that is. I had the wonderful job of pushing him. :) We even found another secret spot in our front yard under one of the cedar trees. So now Chase has a secret spot inside and outside as well. :)

On a final note, I must say a heart felt thank you to all the men and women in our Armed Forces that put their lives in harms way everyday for this country. My brother being one of them who enlisted in July of 2002 after the attacks and served in Iraq for two years. I am deeply grateful to him and so many others for doing the same, for protecting our way of life and for standing up and fighting for all those who perished on September 11th. Thank you for all the sacrifices made by these brave men and women who have this calling in their lives to serve and protect. Thank you, thank you.