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September 11, 2011: Remembering The Day That Changed America
Ten years ago today at 8:46 am was a day that changed the lives of so many Americans and their families. I clearly remember that day, as if it were yesterday. It started out as a normal day for me. I’d gotten up about an hour earlier and was at my computer checking my emails. My now ex-husband was watching the news, before he prepared for his day of classes at the local community college. Suddenly, I heard him say, “Oh My God,” and he told me that I needed to come into the living room. I stepped around the corner into the living room and stood there wondering what was going on, as I saw the first tower burning. As the second plane rammed into the second tower, I remember tears running down my face, as I realized in horror that this wasn’t a random accident, but instead a deliberate act on someone’s part. I listened and watched in horror as the media as well, tried to make sense of what was going on.
For the next couple hours, I was glued to the television set as the horrific events unfolded. I was horrified in learning that 2 other planes had also been hijacked and that our beloved country was under terrorist attack. My thoughts turned to my youngest son, who had just returned from a deployment to Kosovo with his National Guard Unit the previous December and I feared that he would once again be deployed. I thought about all the Soldiers I knew and feared that they too would soon be deploying to find the evil bastards who so brazenly attacked our country and killed thousands of innocent people.
Initially I felt numb and was in shock and disbelief that anyone could commit such horrific acts against people who had done nothing to harm them. That was soon replaced by a deep sense of rage. I remember going to work that day, at the treatment center I worked at. We didn’t carry on our normal day of treatment groups. Instead ourselves and our clients were glued to the television, hoping that somehow, what we’d witnessed earlier in the day was just a dream, that the terrorist attacks really didn’t happen. Our clients talked about their fears and we shared ours as well.
In the days following the events of September 11, 2001, I watched a great transformation take over a country. I watched in pride as the citizens of our country, drew together as one, more united than I’d ever witnessed in my lifetime. I saw pride in America and unity. Flags unfolding all across our great country and I was proud to see how the horrible events of that day unified and brought our country together. I saw people helping people, uniting together as Americans and I saw a pride in our country and resolve in people to do what they could to protect our country and make it safe once again.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve watched that unity and pride in America, slowly erode away. Here in the heart of America, I still see people who are proud of our country and who proudly fly our flag and support our Troops. Yet I don’t see the seas of American flags waving proudly in the breeze, like I did in the days following September 11, 2001. Have we forgotten what happened that day? Have we once again become complacent? What happened to that unity and pride in America that was so prevalent after the terrorist attacks?
In the days that have proceeded today, we’ve heard that there was credible intelligence that perhaps another terrorist attack was being planned. The terrorists too have seen that the strong American resolve that was prevalent after the events of September 11, 2001 had begun to recede. They know the political fighting that is taking place in our country and how divided we’re becoming once again. They know of the economic troubles our country is currently experiencing and they love it. They know that many of us have let our guards down, that we’re not near as vigilant as a country, as we were 10 years ago and they’d love nothing more to bring our country to our knees once again.
My hope is that each of us, as this day progresses and we reflect and honor the thousands of innocent lives that were lost on that day, as we think about the brave firefighters, police officers, EMS workers and everyday Heroes who risked their lives to save others, that we don’t allow their deaths to be in vain. That we once again pull together and unite as a country and show that the American resolve is strong and ever present in each of our citizens.
September 11, 2001 is a day that will forever be burned into my mind. The years since then are years that are forever burned into my mind, as I mourn the loss of each Military Member who has laid down their lives in defense of the freedoms of their fellow Americans. The events of September 11, 2001 was a turning point in so many of their lives. Many chose to join the military after that tragic day, because they believe in the freedoms that our constitution afford each of our citizens and they love this country enough to sacrifice their lives to ensure that each and every one of us can continue to enjoy those freedoms.
I ask each of you reading this to take some time today to stop and reflect on what the events of Sepetember 11, 2001 means to you and your loved ones. A quote I saw on facebook, says it all to me. “September 11, 2001-It’s our past, present, and will forever affect our future.” Author Unknown.