Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Remembrance

I sometimes wonder what the world was like on Sept. 10, 2001.

What were we afraid of? What were the headlines in the newspaper? What did TV news talk about?

I was at home with my toddler when my husband called and told me a plane hit the World Trade Center. Embarrassed to say this now, I blew it off. Private plane, I thought. I didn't remove the Baby Einstein video from the VCR.

A few minutes later he called back. Another plane struck. My first thought wasn't terrorism. How had the air traffic control system turned into chaos?

Fire at the Pentagon? A lost plane in Pennsylvania?

I called my mother in Arlington. What's going on?

Terrorism never entered my mind.Even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, I had to believe there were other explanations.

The real explanation -- that those four planes were a deliberate act -- was too horrific to stomach.

In many ways life has changed since that day; in other ways it has stayed the same. We take our shoes off in the security line. We understand the message behind the sign "No jokes" at the airport. We don't flinch at having our belongings searched at a public event.

We sing "God Bless America" between innings.

But we still go to work each day, deal with bills, worry about our health. Our kids go to school. We celebrate holidays. We laugh and we cry. The horror that unified the nation that day is but a distant memory while we watch the politicians turn the debt ceiling debate into a political referendum.

We are not a unified nation; we are a polarized one. Those with jobs and those without. Those with financial security and those without. Those who believe in Obama and those who wish he would fail.

But today all of us remember. All of us pause. All of us share the stories of where we were when we heard the news.

All of us watched George Bush throw out that first baseball after Sept. 11, and we cheered. I didn't vote for George Bush. But on that night, he was my president. Our president. One nation. Under God.

Ten years later, the remembrances will bond us, and for 24 hours we will share in national mourning.

My hope is that the lesson we learn from today doesn't escape us on Sept. 12, 2011.


  1. No, no, no. The very first few paragraphs of yours clearly indicated that you lack the knowledge that led to the tragedy activities in New York, Pennsylvania & Washington, DC. We cannot go around and claim that we were the victims. Only we were not. We contributed to the problems (politics & social) overseas that pissed the very same people whom Al-Qaeda & Taliban took advantage of. They used the very angry people to attack the country that condoned the oppression in other countries.

    We must remember the victims and we must understand the history that ultimately led to this incident. For it was our responsibility that contributed to the destruction of World Trade Center.


  2. Ridor, Ridor, Ridor....

    We're choosing reflection on the anniversary of a truly tragic, life-altering day. We'll leave the political commentary to another day - and another website.