Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11, 2001--Where Were You?

I rose early this morning which I often do.  I spend my early morning time on  the computer, sipping tea, gathering my thoughts, taking my blood pressure, all those things a person does when she has a few minutes alone.  My computer time is spent checking the newspaper of my hometown, not the town I live in, catching up with Facebook (yeah, sorry) and reading my favorite blogs.

One of my favorite blogs is Old Centennial Farmhouse.  Today Joni, the owner of the blog, asked where we were on that morning.  She then posts a very poignant account of what her day was like that fateful day that changed our lives forever. After reading her post, I wish I had journaled the events of that day and our feelings because Joni's post was so real and fresh and it brought back all those fears and moments of disbelief that I think we all harbor to this day to some extent.

Even though I didn't journal it, I remember it quiet clearly.  It was a usual day in our house, the Hubs had left for work and DD was getting ready for her classes at college.  I was making tea and dishing up cereal.  Having grown up in the home of a news journalist we always had the tv or radio on listening to what had happened overnight and that morning was no different.  DD always turned on the Today show which I promptly changed over to a popular quilting show the minute she walked out the door.  That day was no different.  The older I get the harder I find it to take the news of the day before  I have had my first cup of caffeine.  So, the day proceeded like every other before -- DD left and I flipped the channel, got my tea and was lost in the beautiful world of fabric.

It couldn't have been more than ten minutes after my daughter left than the phone rang and it was her telling me to put the tv back on the news (she knows me quite well) because something  horrible had happened.  I did and I thought I was watching a rebroadcast of the event when, in reality, I was watching the second plane fly through the building.  She continued to school and I watched.  A short time later I spoke to my son who was at work and he told me to tell his sister to come home.  They both attended a local commuter college that had a large, diverse population, many from the Middle East.  He said she really didn't need to be there so I got her on the phone and relayed the message.  It didn't  matter, she was on her way home already.  She was beyond upset.  It seems that when she walked to the parking lot after learning that the school  was being closed, she witnessed a group of Middle Eastern students throwing cndy and shouting in celebration of the mornings events.  Of course, by the time she got home, the Pentagon had been attacked and I was trying to locate my family in the DC area.  They were safe, my kids were safe, my husband was safe although his work day had dissolved into everybody sitting around a tv watching -- nothing was done.  We were safe -- but were we?  Would we ever feel safe again?  What had happened to our country?  What had happened to the world?

As we went about our business, the empty skies were ominous.  We lived reasonably close to an air force base that can be viewed from a high spot behind it.  We took a little drive and it was disturbing how quiet it was.  We wondered why those fighter jets that called this air force base home weren't gassed up and ready to leave, to  avenge this attack on our very soul.  The quiet was deafening, like the end of the world.  We went home and waited.

It is now ten years later.  The person who masterminded this attack is swimming with the fishes -- a little anticlimactic, don't you think?  Do I feel safe?  No.  Do I feel like our innocence, if you will, was stripped away.  Absolutely.  Growing up after World War 2, in the middle of the cold war when we would have disaster drills and sit under our school desks and cover our heads as we were crouched in the hallway, never did I feel as violated and threatened as I do now.  I lived in a town in south Texas that was home to five military bases and was a target during the Cuban missile crisis.  I know my parents felt the threat but I , as a child, did not.  I can't say that the children of today feel that secure in their lives anymore.  It is a sad reality but a reality it is.  The real reality is, however, that even though we may have lost our "innocence" we are still America and we will stand together and we will get through whatever comes our way.  We are strong and vigilant and intelligent. We are America and God bless us.