Five years ago at 8:00am, life was just normal. I would have just gotten into work after dropping Bebo off at school. Just another day. I am sure that I whined about being there and not getting enough sleep. Shortly after that, Ken came in and told us that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center Towers. A horrible freak accident. He was always wandering in and telling us things so that was nothing new. Then, he returned to tell us that a second plane had hit the second tower. Before being an officer, Ken had a long career in the military. He told us then that he was sure that we would be at war soon because this had to be an act of terror. Immediately, we all began to try to log into CNN and Fox News but could not get into their sites. I remember sitting there trying to get in and waiting....waiting.....waiting. My mom had spent the night with us because she had a doctors appointment the next day. She had also left at 8:00am. She called as soon as she started hearing reports on the radio. She came back without going on to her appointment.
Not being able to get any news via the internet was bizarre.
Then came the reports of the towers falling, of two other plans being taken over. The Pentagon being hit. It was unreal.
Manhattan was closed off.
Planes were grounded and Americans were stranded in all corners of the world...unable to return home.
President Bush went from being our President to our Commander In Chief in a matter on minutes.
After getting home that afternoon, I remember we were all glued to the television. Scenes of the Towers falling over and over again interspersed with pictures of President Bush reading to elementary students will forever be etched in our brains. I will never forget the look on his face as an aide whispered into his ear.
I saved the articles and the magazine that outlined what happened. But, one day I stopped listening. I was tired of crying. I chose not to watch the documentaries and the movies as closely as I had been watching. To do so maked me feel as though I was an intruder on peoples personal lives. I am just now coming to the place where I can look and watch. I knew no one that died. I knew no one that was on a plane or in a tower. I knew no one that was a part of the rescue missions. I knew no one that has been a part of the clean up effort. And yet, I am scarred. We are all scarred in some way. I still cry. I cried yesterday. I cried this morning.
I grew up in a era where we pledged allegiance to the flag each morning. We prayed in our classrooms at the beginning of the day. I grew up believing that we live in the greatest nation in the world. I grew up in an era that had respect for it's leaders and it's government because those positions were and are, I believe, positions of respect. I grew up believing in America and what it stands for.
I still do.
Five years ago at 8:00am, I had no clue that someone or something could hate with such might. I did not know what a 72 hour pack was. I did not have an out of state contact that I have programmed into my loved ones cell phone. I did not believe that terror would reach our shores with such a might. I did not know what courage people could posses when faced with death. I did not know that there could be heros without names.
*If I had known, I would have loved you a little bit more*
Today, let's do just that and make an effort to show it.