Today is September 11th. I’ve got posts I’m working on and thoughts that need to be written down but there is no way I can let today pass without a post acknowledging this anniversary.
So what do I think this morning?
I am thinking about the families this tragedy touched and my heart goes out to them. I am thinking about how this anniversary gives most Americans a sorrowful pit in their stomachs, even 7 years later. I am thinking that I hope every tribute is appropriate and respectful. I am thinking I really don’t want to see those planes too often today.
Where was I that morning?
I was working in downtown Boston. Ironically, I had planned to fly out that morning for a conference in Texas. My plans had changed and was instead flying out September 12. I had a busy day ahead of me to prepare for my trip. And then it happened. And the city began to evacuate. My husband decided to come get me so I could avoid public transportation. I made frantic calls to my mother who worked a block from the White House. I sat in my office where I had a perfect view of the Prudential building; I watched it, considering how much it looked like the twin towers. I cried. I was scared. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that thousands of people were probably dying right at that moment. One office mate told me I was over-reacting. And then some bolted out the door to scoop up their families and get themselves far far from the city. Some were furious, stomping around, yelling for war. Some focused on deadlines and pretended nothing was really happening. Everyone was in shock and reactions were varied. I finally heard from my mother, she was home, she had seen the smoke from the pentagon. My husband arrived and we peeled out of the city. We arrived home to a message from my father in west Africa, crying. Had I flown out today after all? Where was I? While we tried contacting him, we watched and waited.
Where am I today?
I am settled in Florida suburbia, far from the city, far from my office in Boston. T. just left with his father for kindergarten. I am watching C. play with his Mickey Mouse toy. I am living here, raising two sons while we are at war, while we wonder what comes next, while I worry we have made some horrible mistakes in reaction to the attack 7 years ago.
Do I feel safer from terrorists 7 years later?
Am I proud to be an American?
Yep. I have amazing rights and privileges, I am grateful for them everyday.
Have I been proud of our contry recently?
I have been very proud to see so many people vote and call for change during this election. However, I am mortified by the war we are in.
What do I hope for on this anniversary?
Respect. People died. Every American is mourning their loss today. Politics has to be kept out of this anniversary. If I feel sorrow for our loss today, I should not be slotted as a Bush or McCain supporter. If I am voting for Obama, don’t assume I can’t REALLY care about this tragedy or our country. No more fear mongering. No more waving “out of control” planes over our buildings for votes. No more name dropping “9/11” whenever there is an election. It’s disgraceful and not my kind of patriotism. No one should assume a republican president would care more for our country or protect us better. Actually, don’t assume ANY American could protect this country without legitimately caring about the global community we are apart of. Respect. It has to happen on this anniversary for our country to truly heal. And it must happen across our borders to abate any possibility of further threats.
How am I going to honor this day?
I am going to be grateful for what I have: my children, my family, my health, my home, my rights. While I remember those lost, I can’t forget our place in this world. Hundreds of countries have lost their citizens to hate, terror, genocide and war – the few thousand we have lost pales in comparison to the tens or hundreds of thousands lost in other countries. Their dead deserve as much respect and honor as our dead.
May every soul lost rest in peace.