I've been thinking of writing this post but it seems daunting. What to write? How to capture the emotions of 10 years ago? I'd like to though, so I can share it with my kids one day.
10 years ago tomorrow, when I woke up I thought "Hurray! We've been married 1 month! We'll celebrate tonight". Nothing much really, but it was a happy day.
I drove to school (at 5:45 am - so happy I don't commute to work anymore!) and settled in with my kids. During my planning period I heard a few strange rumors when I went into the office so I went to my classroom and turned on the radio (the cable was out at the school that day). One of my co-teachers and I listened to the slightly confused and amazed woman who was reporting about a plane flying into one of the towers. At that point they weren't sure why it had happened. People were mostly confused and worried for those inside the building, etc. Then we heard the true panic and astonishment as the second plane flew into the other tower. You could hear the pandemonium in the background of the radio broadcast. It felt so unreal, like it wasn't actually happening. We listened for the rest of our planning period. Just after turning it off we heard about the Pentagon (the office was across the hall from my classroom so sometimes news trickled in.
Then kids come into my classroom again and I had to act like everything was normal. We talked about it a lot with our kids after that day, but that day we didn't tell them, we let them go home and hear from their families. We needed time to process and understand what was going on. Our students had moderate to severe special needs and it wasn't appropriate to show them our shock and dismay right then.
By lunch I had heard about Flight 93 and when I got home that afternoon my husband and I sat at his fraternity house (he was a senior in college) and watched the footage that became the only thing anyone watched on tv for about a month (maybe not quite that long, but as I sit here and think back, I know that we watched it for a long time).
My thoughts and feelings that day, and in the days to come were both for the welfare of our nation, but also very personal (and I suppose selfish). I realized that day that my husband (who was in ROTC) would be going to war soon after he graduated. There had been talk of conflicts in the Middle East and possible US involvement, but I knew without a doubt that this cemented the decision. There would be war and my husband would go. I have to say that I did not react well to this realization. I clung to my husband in an unhealthy way. I let worry consume me for a while and it wasn't healthy for our marriage. I can see this all in retrospect, though I didn't realize it all at the time. Now I know that my husband can not be my everything. I have to cling to God for that, and trust that He will take care of our lives. I've learned a lot in the past 10 years. Our world changed a lot on that day.
It changed even more for the families of those who lost loved ones on that day. My husband and I are from NY and NJ. We both have family members whose stories scared us in retrospect, but we were fortunate that our families were safe. Today I hope that we can stand together as a nation, remember those who were lost and pray for their families. I know that those families have created new lives, but that they still missed their loved one every day.
I hope that we will remember the fire fighters, police officers, ambulance workers, National Guardsmen, citizens and volunteers who worked hard that day, and especially those who gave their lives that day. Sometimes I think we spent 6 months honoring all of those people, and then as our lives went back to normal we forget about all that they did that day. Today we should remember. I hope we can honor the military who later went to war to protect our nation from terrorists. They went over there, to keep us safe here, so that our lives could go on as normally as possible. The military portion could be a whole post to itself for me (or book) so I'll leave it there for today. For today I will remember and I will celebrate and praise God for the life that we have in the good ol' US of A!