I've had the question asked to me...Where was I when 9/11 happened? Time fades many people's memories as the struggle to remember where they were on that horrific day. I've not forgotten. I am blessed to have a reminder in my home each and every day. Let's go back, shall we?
I began waking up Corinna and Bryan for school.Corinna was in first grade, Bryan kindergarten. They took the time to wipe the sleep from their eyes. Molly jumped around at my feet, never one to separate far from us. Don woke up in a Seattle hotel room, several hours from home, geared up to start another day with his current employer. I turned on the television...unheard of in my home while trying to get the kids ready for school, but for some reason that morning things were different. I instantly saw the news coverage of one airliner running into one of the towers. The word I recall was tragedy...not terrorist. And then it happened. To my utter horror I watched as a second airline approached and crashed. Was this a joke?! This could not be serious!!! My oldest daughter saw the second hit and asked me what happened. All I could say was "I don't know, sweetheart. I don't understand." And truly I didn't. It was hard for em to drop my daughter off at school, but was reassured by teachers and principals as we walked through the doors. Everything was going to be kept as normal as possible for the children. I felt a slight calm, but rushed home with Molly to find out what was happening. I watched as the towers fell that day knowing, feeling the pain of the people trapped inside. This couldn't be serious. I remember wondering if it was a cruel practical joke. My husband arrived home a few hours later...sent home by his employers as life was at a standstill. He struggled more than anyone. The unnecessary deaths in this case enraged him and his desire to join the military to help fight these demons grew. He talked to several recruiters, but his age held him back. I supported him because I knew what it meant to him.
We stepped off the train in Venice, Italy. Though our hearts were drawn to the memory of those who had served and lost their lives along with those who perished in a senseless attack, we had to continue to walk on and live. And in that living 13 Americans on tour through Italy stood united on the piers of Venice looking at a beautiful offering by the Italian people. Encased in plexiglass, a copy of the famous Pieta housed in the Vatican, Jesus Christ being held tenderly, by his mother, Mary, after his crucifixion. Beneath Jesus laid draped an American flag. A small offering of love and support 5 years later by a city of beautiful people filled our hearts. Tears flowed as I remembered back to what had occurred and the unflinching support of the Italian people. What I remember most was not the statue or display. What I remembered was the smattering of small empty aluminum tea light casings sitting in front. There were perhaps 20 or more. The thought that people from another country could honor the victims filled me heart and forever cemented in my heart the love of the Italian culture.
An American flag is raised in Iraq to honor our fallen. A friend lost his life over there in trying to help the Iraqi people gain their freedom. He will forever be missed.
The same flag which had been raised over foreign soil sat under our Christmas tree. A beloved nephew who is in the Air Force sent it to us asking us to hang it in the store. It was touching....And it was hung in the store...after I encased it in a shadow box, giving it the respect it deserved.
Documentaries begin to emerge about 9/11. I watch to feel the experiences of those who lived in the area, but find I become physically ill watching the footage again. I left the room with tears in my eyes. Much to fresh in my mind.
To my left as I type I see the same flag, still wrapped protectively in bubble wrap from the move. Such a treasure I am not sure I trust to the walls of an apartment. I am still contemplating, but I see it everyday. I pray for the safety of those who serve. I pray for world peace, like many beauty queens, but moreover than that...I pray for peace of mind and honor those who had fallen. They will be forever in my heart.