Sep 11 2011

10 Years Ago Today

Published by at 2:22 pm under General,Remembering,Striking Revelations

I’m sure my post today will be one of many like it, and it might be a little disjointed. But it’s a post that must be written, right?

10 years ago today was tragic. 10 years ago today was terrifying. 10 years ago today was mind-blowing in the worst way. 10 years ago today, my generation was suddenly able to understand the shock, confusion, and feelings of our parents and grandparents who lived through JFK’s assassination and Pearl Harbor.

10 years ago today, I was on my way into work when I heard the news of a plane – at the time they thought it was a small, private plane – hitting the first tower. I remember thinking, “well, that’s gonna be a helluva lawsuit.” If only. By the time I got to my desk, the world was changed. In the 5 minutes it took me to park my car, cross the street, and take an elevator up to the 13th floor, the second plane hit and we knew this was no accident. Radios were on all over the department. A few people had small tvs at their desks. From my desk, I heard the news of the planes hitting the Pentagon and going down in Pennsylvania. The office closed (we later learned that our company lost about 25 people in the towers and planes); I was home in time to watch the towers fall. I worried about friends who lived in NYC at the time; I worried about friends in the military. I struggled to wrap my brain around what had happened, how it could happen, how humans could do this to other humans. I still struggle with that. I suppose we all do.

And now, as a Mommy, my heart breaks in new ways for the families who lost someone that day. The parents who lost dear children, the children who lost beloved parents, the children who will never know parents. As a Mommy, I wonder how I’ll answer the questions my boys will inevitably ask. As a Mommy, I hope they never have an event like this to contend with, though I know that it’s unlikely I’ll get that wish.

There have been so many comments leading up to today about always remembering. I assure you, it won’t be forgotten. Too many people relive it every day with the empty place at the table. However, I’m thankful that the overarching feeling of today (and each anniversary, really) is “remember and honor” and “remember and hope,” not “remember and avenge.” I’m grateful that this terrible event didn’t “break” America, as its perpetrators had hoped.

And I’ll be honest here, I’m grateful that Osama bin Laden was caught and killed. I understand that his death doesn’t mean the end of terrorism, but it does mean one less mastermind to worry about.

But you know what else? I’m so grateful that we kept moving ahead. I’m so grateful that even on a day as somber as today, I can go watch my 11-year-old play baseball, and play with my 7-year-old and 16-month-old in the (finally) mild September sunshine. So off I go to the ballpark in my American flag shirt, to remember, honor, hope, and yes, even enjoy. I hope you’re able to do the same.

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