Sunday, September 11, 2011

where were you?

I remember...

...driving on I-55 going to Brighton Park to take Helen to her doctor appointment.  Eddie and JoBo of B-96 announced the first plane hitting the World Tower.  I immediately called Wayne, then Linda, then my folks.  While at the doctor's office, we watched the second plane attack the remaining Tower and all hell broke loose.  Initially, no one knew what was happening and being an American, we could not believe this reality.  This is not a war-torn country where buildings are demolished and people terrorized as an everyday occurrence.  This is the land of the free ~ where we build and create, not attack and destroy.  Our minds could not grasp the fact that someone would intentionally and maliciously cause such devastation.  Who?  Why?  What is next?  Our reign of terror and supreme surveillance began this day,  a decade ago.  It was the end of the world as we know it and forever will be.  Our mighty country was raped of its innocence and will never, ever be the same.  Despite the horrifying details, our one nation, under God, indivisible, stood up to the bully that is known as terrorists, and we continue to remain strong and patriotic.  Ain't no one, no how, gonna bring us down!
september 11, 2001
the day the angels cried

We spent the next decade rebuilding, repairing our soil and our souls, and loving each other with more kindness and compassion.  Alan Jackson's creation of Where Were You? is perfect for reflection. This weekend revealed so many interviews and stories of the heroes, human and canine, and each and every story held inspiration to be better persons.  Other countries banded together with their support and Sir Paul McCartney chronicled his benefit concert including many English performers.  I was so proud to be part of the culture that inhabits American soil and while I refuse to live in fear and alter my life as the bullies hope we would, I do hug my kids a little longer and tell those I love that I do much more often.  I take nothing and no one for granted and count my blessings every day.  We are a braver country and perhaps we needed this jolt to appreciate our freedom and those who dedicate their lives to keep us free. 
Image Detail
imagine all the life in peace! you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

My best buddy and darling Linda had airline tickets to any place in the country and wanted to take a trip together.  She was surviving ovarian cancer and knew her time on earth was coming to an end and she was adamant about her need to visit Ground Zero, so the following April we headed to New York to witness the aftermath of our nation's tragedy.  What we found was a city of compassion and healing.  Our visit was indeed memorable and standing on the grounds connected us in a spiritually enlightened way. 
Today will be filled with memorials and testimonies about the 3,000 fallen victims of the attack.  Every single person is a victim, in a way, for the loss trickles down to every human on earth as we are all connected.  I understand many fire houses are holding memorials at their stations and this is a way we can all personally show our support and appreciation for all these first responders do for us. 
The Darien-Woodridge firestation is a teaching firehouse just a block from our home so we strolled by for the ceremony and to shake the hands of the all the firefighters and policemen (and police doggie) to thank them for always having our backs.  They are our guardians and saviors on a scene.  My first born spent a year learning to be a firefighter as his profession, then he became a policeman, and that evolved into working for the state's attorney.  He serves and protects in his way. 

Let's take time today to honor our heroes and let them know how grateful we are. Share your stories of where you were that day and how you coped and how your life is different and hopefully, improved.  Remembering is the best way to honor the victims of 9/11. 

This survivor kept us in tears as he reiterated his personal experience on that fateful day.  Keep their heroism alive for this is now our nation's history.  Show the bullies we are stronger because of their antics, not a weak people.  As the chaplain mentioned, there is always more wisdom in a room filled with mourners than a room filled with laughter.  God loves us and will continue to bless us. I believe, I have hope and I am proud to be an American.  xo