Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Will Never Forget

Like those in our grandparent's generation who remember in exact detail where they were and what they were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated, each of us will remember the events leading up to what will forever change the American psyche.

Where was I? I had just come down from my dorm room on the campus of WVU to head to Biology Lab. I hit the lobby and saw the Twin Towers with only 1 tower in flames. At that point, the speculation was of a pilot who had made a mistake, flown too low, and crashed. I left and was sitting in the hallway waiting for lab to start when a classmate came in and said a second plane had hit. I was on the phone with my great-grandmother, waking her up to watch the news. We sat through lab, waiting and wondering what was going on. When I got back to my dorm room, I turned on the TV and found out about plane 3 that hit the Pentagon. My roommate was trying to call her mom who was scheduled for a meeting there that morning.

I called my Dad and he didn't pick up. I didn't think he would. He was active duty at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and they were on lock down. I called my Step-Mom. Several tries later, I finally got her and she assured me Dad was still at the base on high alert, but safe. By this time, they were announcing cell silence for those who did not need it immediately so people in NYC could reach their loved ones.

By the end of the day, we heard about Flight 93 and the passengers that saved an unknown target. We heard about the Fall of the Towers. We heard about the deaths and the injuries. The campus was silent. We were silent. We reached out to one another that day as fellow humans regardless of race or background. Just like the rest of the nation, we came together.

The line I think of most often comes from FDR's speech declaring war on Japan for their attack on Pearl Harbor, the only other time there was an attack on American soil, that this "is a date which will live in infamy." And, for good or bad, it has. We were reminded that we are not invincible. However, we were also reminded that we are all the same. Black, white, gay, straight, male, and female. We are all Americans. No matter what, we need to remember that EVERY DAY! If we cannot pick up and carry on enjoying each day that we have together as a country, as a FAMILY, then the terrorists have won. We must remember those that risked their lives on 9-11-01, but also remember those that risk their lives DAILY - and thank them. Thank the retired soldier who lost his "brothers" in the war. Thank the policemen and firemen who show up at a car accident knowing a child may have died. And thank all those behind the scenes. The husbands, wives, and children who sit by and watch as their  loved ones walk out the door, knowing it may be months before they see each other again...if they ever do.


1 comment:

  1. This is so true, so sad to me. I get choked up talking about where I was and how I will never forget. My older son is 14 and whenever he sees anyone in uniform he walks up to them and says 'Thanks for serving, have a great day'....it makes me so proud of him and he doesn't even really know how much they really do sacrifice for us.