It started weighing on me and I started reflecting...
9/11/01 - Just 30 days prior we had buried my dad. My mom still wasn't sleeping well and she woke me up about 4 am. I couldn't imagine what worst news I'd hear after losing my dad. But there on TV was the North Tower smoking and on fire. I was so numb...it felt so far away, yet close to home. At the time I was working at Camp Smith, where much of the Military Pacific Command worked. I managed to get on base by 6 am, but by then the military bases started locking down. Only a handful of us made it into our office. We were eventually sent home around 10 am. The rest of that day and the following 2 days I spent glued to the news with images likes this,
displayed repeatedly. From every possible angle, from news coverage, to personal videos. We'd hear voicemails left to loved ones and panicked calls to dispatchers. But I'm not sharing anything new..most of the country, if not world was watching the terror unfold.
It wasn't until the following weeks and months did 9/11 impact me personally. Here in Hawaii it could take hours to get on a military base, whether you were active duty or civilian employee. Anyone who's traveled since that fateful day knows the impact.
I started to feel scared. Talks of the draft came up and at the time my husband and just about all my friends and family were eligible draft age. But that never happened. I hate to admit it...but life started to get back to "normal" or what would from now on be considered normal.
Thousands lost their lives on 9/11/01. Men and women who innocently and unsuspectingly got on 3 commercial flights, men and women going about their usual day at work in either of the World Trade Center towers, and so many of those unsung heroes who stepped up daily as a NY Fire, Police, or Paramedic/EMT personnel. I give those first responders so much credit. Many of them knew that as they responded to this horrific disaster, they themselves could possibly never return to their families.
So many heroes emerged on 9/11...average men and women who attempted to overpower terrorist hijackers, more men and women who put their own wellbeing aside to aid others escape the towers, hundreds of first responders who lost their own lives. But the list should include the single parents now tasked with raising children without a husband of wife, the men and women of the armed forced who fight, who've enlisted, who've re-enlisted for my safety.
I've never been overly patriotic, but how can you hear these stories of courage, the acts of charity and kindness, the miracles of lives saved or see an image like this
and not feel a swell of pride!! "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free..." I WILL NOT forget the sacrifices made on 9/11 and all the days to follow! I am grateful to those who fight for my freedom. I will continue to pray for America!
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