9/11: It was 12 years ago but my emotions are so high today. The radio keeps playing the 911 calls from that day and they just sneak up on me. I continuously feel like I am on the verge of tears. It is still so clear. I remember being so scared and felt like we were suddenly so vulnerable and reachable... "attackable." The image I had of the United States at that moment was so different from the one I previously had. I was born in the mid-70s and raised in the 80s. The years of Reagan and the almighty and powerful USA! We were led to believe that no one could ever harm us the way that Japan did at Pearl Harbor. With all our security, why would we even have to bother worrying about being attacked on our turf? No one would ever try that again. Right?!
So it happened. Right before our eyes. We watched as the second plane did the unthinkable. It purposely careened into the side of a New York skyscraper. Up until that point it the first one could have been an accident. Then came word about more planes, more buildings. I did what any girl does when she is scared. I called my dad. In disbelief and tears, I watched it all unfold while on the phone with him Just hearing my Dad's voice gave me comfort. He was at work and I was home in my apartment. I didn't have a subbing job that day so it was just me and my 3 month old kitten. I had already talked to Keith and he was at work watching with his coworkers, huddled around a TV in their office. Everyone was shocked, scared, mad and unsure about the future.
The future. Now that opened up a whole other can of worms. We were within our 30 days until we closed on our house. Should we still do it? Would the timing be smart financially? Would we go to war? Would the draft system be reestablished to build up our military? Keith and I were both 25 years old. We weren't married yet. Would we ever get a chance? Everything ran through my mind about what our future would be like, yet we were safe and together unlike many other families that day. I knew so many people who knew someone involved on September 11th but didn't know anyone directly harmed. I can't imagine their pain, their uncertainty, their anger. I am glad that my little bubble kept me from that. I'm glad I didn't have children to explain things to. I am so glad I wasn't in a classroom that day. And I am so glad that we, as a nation, pulled through that tragedy stronger and more aware.
One more thing I vividly remember in the days, weeks and months after 9/11 is the flags. American flags everywhere. It was nearly impossible to drive down a street and count all the flags that we passed. Everyone had one. It made me so proud.
We did go through with buying our house and one of the first things we did was put up a flag. Our flag lasted several years before it was torn from hitting and catching on our old roof. I think it is time to replace it. Wouldn't it be wonderful to drive down the street and see too many flags to count? And wouldn't it be great to once again have large groups of complete strangers just start chanting U-S-A? USA! USA!
So that is September 11th through my eyes. Completely and utterly impossible to forget.