Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You?

Nine years ago today, my generation's date that will live in infamy occurred. I will never forget September 11, 2001. Never.

It was a beautiful September morning in Cocoa Beach, FL. I want to say that it was a Tuesday, but I am not really sure on that point. My oldest daughter, then 15 months old, and I were visiting my mom while my husband was in CT completing Submarine training. It was hard being away from him, but we love Cocoa Beach and we stayed busy.

That morning was music class for my little girl. She loved to go. We never watch tv in the morning, so I had no idea what was going on in the world. When we got to the gym, the place was closed. So we headed over the Patrick AFB to get some groceries. We were in the commissary when they asked us to leave our carts and evacuate. I can remember my little girl saying, "But Mommy, what about our ice cream?" I was at Patrick when they scrambled all their fighters to protect the space shuttle which was currently on the launch pad.

I asked the clerk at the cash register what was going on? She said, "Don't you watch the news? We are under attack!" I got my little girl in the car and we headed back to my mother's. I turned on the radio and heard about the first two planes. There was so much chaos. There were more planes in the air, no one seemed to know if they had terrorists on them too. The whole world had gone crazy.

When we got home, I turned on the news and saw the planes hit the towers. I watched in horror as they fell, knowing there were still so many innocent people inside. We watched as the Pentagon was hit and of course, heard about the brave men and women on flight 93 that went down in a field rather than kill more of their countrymen.

Almost three thousand Americans died that day, and for what? How many have died since? Today, in Afghanistan, they burn our flag in response to a Koran burning that never happened. Need I remind you people that nine years ago, you supported those who didn't burn books - they burned PEOPLE.

Nine years later, I don't feel clarity on what happened or what our response to it should have been. I see how many brave men and women are dying in Afghanistan while our government hems and haws over getting them the right equipment, plans, numbers and more. I want them to bring those men and women home, because what are they risking their lives for?

I will never look at the world in the same way as I did on September 10th, 2001. All of us, I believe, were forever changed.