I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. September 11th. Twenty years later. I turned on the news, knowing it would be hard to watch. But if you are going to “Never Forget,” you have to watch. You have to remember.
As I look back twenty years ago today, I am taken back to where I was that moment. I had just dropped my then 3-year-old daughter Gabi off at preschool and came home to turn on the Today Show. I believe I was on the phone with a friend shortly before 9 am, getting Madi then 16-months-old ready for a mommy and me class. That is when the news of the North Tower being hit happened. It was hard to watch, yet I couldn’t turn away.
Shocked, confused, and at a loss of exactly what we saw, how did this happen? Did a plane really just hit one of the World Trade Center towers? Then, I saw the South Tower struck with the next plane and I then knew that we were being attacked. Scared, confused, horrified, I remember thinking, what kind of world will my daughters know?
Way back when…
I grew up with a very patriotic dad. And I also grew up in a small town where we started our school days saying the Pledge of Allegiance while facing and respecting the flag, Singing My Country Tis of Thee, and saying a prayer. This was during morning announcements for most of my childhood. I don’t remember when we stopped doing that, but I know that my freshman year of high school, we said the pledge, prayed and sang the National Anthem before sports games. By my junior year, in 1990, we weren’t allowed to pray any longer. I also remember a pastor that would attend our football games. He would stand and pray the Lord’s prayer from the stands. It was powerful. Everyone would join him. I didn’t realize how powerful that was until today. I hadn’t thought about it. But I am grateful for Pastor Blackburn. Impacting many young people to stand up, speak out.
So growing up with a love and respect for our beautiful country. Having grandparents that fled communist countries to be free. I may have grown up with a constant reminder of how fortunate I was to be living in the United States of America. Now, I sit back and wonder if my daughters get the gravity of today. Do they realize how blessed they are to live in the county where others flee to be?
When we scroll through social media or turn on the news, our country is reminded that we are at war with each other. Religion, race, political affiliation, health choices, and…check a box. We have people silence people; we have families falling apart. Friends are no longer friends. Then you watch this day in history.
Twenty years ago, the people of this country were united. Amidst the horror and terror that was happening, everyone cared about everyone. American Flags proudly waved everywhere. Churches were packed. Everyone wanted to be there for everyone. That internal war that we are part of now didn’t exist. And think about it, that was a time we didn’t have the means we do today, which should help make us be better people.
You Have to Remember
Today, President George W Bush spoke. For those that are too young to remember, this was our president during that time. What he said is a reminder that we can all do better.
As I finish writing this post, TAPS is playing on the TV in the background. Painful. But it’s a reminder once again, you have to remember. My prayers to everyone hurting today. And as we remember, I pray we are inspired to find that place of unity again.