It was a typical day….getting up… going to work …putting into motion the routine that was in place during every school year for a teacher. Husband heading off in one direction. The boys off in college. And then it happened…the world, OUR world, forever changed. That’s how it works isn’t it? We think we know what to expect with the routine of our days, but then, out of nowhere, we realize that we never saw it coming. September 11th was one of those days.
If you were old enough, you remember it. I do. With clarity. The terror is forever etched on my psyche. The first plane seemed like a really bizarre accident. How does a plane get so far off track in a city the size of New York? And then… they kept coming. The thought, that I was reluctant to let surface and had been trying to push away, crystallized with the reality that we were under attack. In America, those thoughts just weren’t part of the mindset of the baby boomer generation. WWII had put an end to that notion. That happened in other places, but not here in our homeland. But here it was…indeed.
In the collage of my memories fused together from that day of smoke, ashes, confusion, terror, fear, loss, and death, I am forever reminded of the heroism that was displayed in every arena by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Individuals who rushed toward the danger to save others. Acts of generosity that trumped any form of human selfishness. The rest of the world rushing in to help us this time, as we had helped countless other countries before. A nation joining hands and coming together in prayer. “One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history.” ~ George W. Bush
My heart will continue to hurt for those who lost spouses, children, parents, siblings, and friends on that fateful day. I mourn for lives lived in the ensuing years with empty chairs and missed celebrations. However, it is those HOPE-ful acts that rise above all the others in my memory banks. Those are the ones that I choose to remember from that day. Those are the ones that I have the naïve wish that we could re-capture and honor for our fractured country, without the horror that preceded it. We can BE those people. We ARE those people. For, we think we know what to expect with the routine of our days, but out of nowhere, something comes to change it. Life is short and there is no time for hate.
September 11 is one of the our worst days but it brought out the best in us. It unified us as country and showed our charitable instincts and reminded us of what we stood for and stand for. ~ Senator Lamar Alexander