Friday, September 9, 2011

Remembering 9/11.

Today as I watched the news recall that Tuesday morning, I couldn't help but sit there with tears rolling down my face. It was 10 years ago, which in many respects seems like ages ago. Yet when I hear the recollections, see the pictures, and watch the video, that day seems like yesterday. The emotion still seems raw.

I was a Sophomore in college. I was on the bus on my way to class and overheard people talking about a plane crash. At that point no one really knew the enormity of the situation. When I got to class one of the guys I sat next to kept asking the teacher if we could watch the news, that there was something big happening in New York. The teacher blew him off and told him to listen to the lecture. Sometimes I wonder if that teacher ever looks back on that moment with regret. After we left I trudged up the hill to my next class, tennis. My teacher ran to to the tennis courts, which I thought was odd. Out of breath, she explained we were under attack. She said "I don't know what this means. We're under attack. Go back to your home. Call your families. This is war. Our life has changed." All I could think in that moment was Drew. He had just joined the Army in the spring of 2011. We had just started dating, so my opinion on the matter was not very hefty at that point in Drew's life. I was hesitant about his decision stating that "something bad would happen and he'd have to go to war." My words were haunting me on September 11th. Because in that moment that I realized we were under attack, I knew our lives were changed forever in more than just a plane crash.

I ran to Drew's dorm, ran up the stairs to his 9th floor room and banged down the door. He didn't come right away and I crumbled to the floor outside his door crying. He came to the door wrapped in a towel and was so confused. He hadn't seen the news, and knew nothing. I was a blubbering mess, trying to explain what happened through tears and trembling. He quickly got dressed and we met down in another residents room. Drew held me as we watched the news unfold. We just sat there in disbelief. I'm not quite sure what I did for the rest of the morning, but that afternoon I walked back to my apartment. My friend Katie found me and we just hugged and cried. Words were not needed on that day. In fact, I am not sure words even do that day justice. After talking to my dad, we decided it was best that I filled my car up with gas. Katie and I, in tears, loaded into my 1987 Civic and we headed to the local gas station. We waited in line, and together we cried.

So how has 9/11 changed our lives? Well, Drew and I have endured two deployments. I find myself so lucky to say that he's made it to the desert and back.

Many military wives are not able to say that, and for that I count myself blessed and grateful for the sacrifice so many have paid. It's hard to think selfishly about that time that was robbed from us. In many respects I find myself still angry at those men who hijacked the planes. Angry at them for taking so many innocent lives. Angry at them for destroying the supposedly "safe" world that I knew back then. Not that everything was perfect, but the world is most definitely different. It's as if the innocence of every man, woman and child was completely ripped away in those moments when the planes hit. And nothing that we do can ever bring us back to that state. I find myself so grateful for men (and women) would will willingly risk their lives for the greater good of society, whether it be police officers, fire fighters or military personnel. I think September 11th did a great good in allowing us all to see the sacrifice so many take in the jobs that they have volunteered for, so for that I am grateful.

I think the hardest thing for me to wrap my mind about, and the thing that pains my heart the most, is that when I watch the film from 9/11, I think about my boys. They'll never know the world before 9/11. Where people could freely come and go from airports. Where there wasn't war. Where people trusted people for the most part, and you didn't have to live on guard (I almost wrote fear, but as Christians I don't think we should live in fear because God is greater than anything that is in this world). I sometimes wonder how I'll explain 9/11 to my boys. Drew and I have kept papers, magazines and books from 9/11 shortly after it happened. I told Drew then that I wanted to have those things so that I could show my kids. But now looking at everything, it doesn't even seem to do it justice. It's like whatever I say won't really convey the gravity of the situation.

Because this blog is a glimpse for my boys to see and read their past, I want to close in a letter to them. It only seems appropriate.

Brayden and Connor--

I'm not sure how old you'll be when you read these words. And I'm not even sure these words do justice to all of the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. But know this... I want you to never forget what happened. I want you to know that despite the efforts of men to destroy our country, we stood strong. I want you to know that your daddy was a brave man and stood for freedom and defended our country along with thousands of others, and that our family is so blessed to be able to have him back safe, as many families cannot say the same. I hope that you never take the freedom in America for granted. If you see a serviceman in person, I hope that you'll thank them for their service. I pray that you will be proud of our country. And above all, I pray that you will know and believe with all of your heart that God is bigger than the evil that happens in this world. I can't tell you why God allows things like 9/11 to happen. I wish I could. And unfortunately I am sure there will be many more evils in the world that come to fruition that will cause pain and heartache. But remember that "greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world." May you always remember, never forget, and carry on a legacy of sacrifice and pride in the United States of America.

To those who sacrificed in little and large ways on 9/11, we remember and are grateful for all that you have done and all that you do.

If you've blogged about remembering 9/11, I'd love to read your post. Grab a button if you'd like, Link up below so I can read all of your tributes, recollections and stories.

remembering 9-11


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