September 11, 2011

911 Remembered

As we are all aware, the tenth anniversary of Sept 11th is today.  It's a pretty somber occasion to recall. I recently went to the Newseum with my sons and got pretty choked up at the 911 display.  They have one of the actual radio towers there for you to see and soak in.  Hardly anyone who has lived through that day can leave the exhibit with dry eyes.

I will never forget the moment I saw the towers being hit live on the air during The Today Show.  I was on the phone with my neighbor Crystal and we were discussing the first crash and weather it was an accident or not when the suddenly second plane hit.  To say we were shocked would be a understatement.  I was grateful to have a good friend on the phone with me when it happened.  The next phone call I made was to another friend in the area who's husband was in the military with my own husband.  I brought up the elephant sized question on both of our minds.  "What do you think this will mean for our husbands?"  I mean whoever did this was surely starting a war.  We tried to console ourselves with the fact that most likely whatever war we got ourselves into would probably be over by the time our husbands were out of residency.  We couldn't have been more wrong.  Both of our husbands have deployed since then.

My husband just signed on for more time with Uncle Sam putting him at risk for deployment for another decade.  I am not going to even speculate on the possibilities of our troops getting out of this mess (and yes I believe it's a mess) in the next decade.  Sadly many American's actually believe that we are in Iraq because of 911.  I am not one of those Americans.  But that is a post for another day.

After the Pentagon was hit I decided I had better get my children out of their school.   I walked to the elementary school pushing my baby boy in his stroller.  I thought I saw glimpses of smoke.  I stood in line for what seemed like forever to sign my two older boys out of their classrooms.  I wasn't the only parent with the bright idea of keeping their loved ones close for the rest of the day.  A fellow mother-in-line turned to me and asked how I was doing.  Tears welled up for both of us and she answered her own question with the response of "I know, you're just as bad off as I am aren't you?"

The tricky part of that day, and the upcoming days that followed, was knowing how to react in front of children.  What to say or not say.  My kids were 7, 4, and 1.  My 4 year old was especially  quick to pick things, not easily distracted.  I wonder now how this event shaped them into the people they are today.  Could this be one of the reasons my oldest loves the comforts of home so much?  Possibly the reason that my middle son is so into weaponry?  Who can say...

In Feb 2003 they were starting to deploy soldiers.  I was recovering from the delivery of my first daughter in a military hospital.  I had to get a shot before they would release me.  I sat in my wheelchair next to a very young man who would be one of the fist ones out to Afghanistan.  He was getting a whole slew of shots himself.  That really rattled me to think someone so young could be gone for good in another month.  I tried to keep things light by asking for his opinions on a name for my first daughter.  He helped us cast the deciding vote.  I hope he is still alive and voting today....

May we never forget the sacrifices made for our country and remember our troops/ local service men and women on 911.


Laurel C. said...

Having a husband in the military certainly puts 9-11 in a different light, doesn't it? On that day, I couldn't find my husband, and no one in his office at Davis-Monthan AFB would pick up the phone. My mind raced to a million different, horrible scenarios. Knowing that your husband can be put in harm's way at any given moment is terrifying.

And I agree with you... we didn't go to Iraq because of 9-11. And this whole thing is a big mess. But I'm so grateful for those who've stopped any further terrorist attacks on our country. What a frightening day 9-11 was.

M-Cat said...

I guess it's pretty clear on how far behind on reading posts I am, since it's now 11 days later, but I loved your insight. I love hearing about where people where and what they were doing and what went through their minds.

While Corbin is currently assigned to a non-deployable unit, it doesn't mean that I know that could change at any time, nor do I worry less about his friends that are there now.

Great post.