It's a common question asked every year on this day... Do you remember?
I remember. I remember exactly what I was doing and what every member of my little family was doing at "that moment" on "that day".
I was pregnant with AnneMarie and had 3 little ones ages 6, 3 and 1 running the house. I hadn't slept especially well that night before and was still in bed in that awake but not quite functioning stage. Jared was home from work planning to go in late because he had taken JT to the dentist. They had just gotten home when a good friend called and said "Is your TV on?"
I remember thinking 2 things "DUH! I have kids" and "why does it matter?"
Instead I told him "Yes, on PBS kids, Sesame Street is on."
He said "Turn on the news."
"Why?" I asked
"Just do it." He replied and hung up.
I called out to Jared, as I rolled myself out of bed "Turn on the news."
He did as I waddled in from the next room . Then history was made. We were all watching when the 2nd plane hit. The house went silent, JT had been bugging his little sister and bear who wasn't yet 2 was playing with toys on the floor. Everything stopped and went silent. I know it sounds cliche but it was like something out of a movie. The kids didn't understand exactly what happened, I'm not even sure in that instance Jared and I even understood what had happened but we all knew life as we knew and as our country knew it was changing... forever.
We kept JT home from school that day, Jared stayed home from work, we couldn't stand the idea of being apart. The news was on for days until we realized that it was stressing everyone out and turned it off. We functioned and waited for news. My mom was in Georgia at the time and couldn't get home via plane so dad drove down to get her. JT paced until he knew she was home, safe and had not had to get on a plane.
We lived right under an airport fly path and so the noise of planes coming and going was just part of the soundtrack that was our life, then it stopped. I don't think I'll ever forget that eerie silence for the next week or so. Just as we were getting used to it the Happy Hooligans from Fargo flew over our house, fast and loud on their way to take some little pilot out of the air. The noise was even more jarring then the silence and the panic that hit all of us is something I can still taste.
I remember the birds seemed louder, the colors brighter but most of all I remember that as everyone watched and waited for the other shoe to drop we came together as a people. We were a little more tolerate, a little more compassionate, a little more focused on what really mattered. We love each other and we let each other know.
Stores couldn't keep flags in stock. Neighbors reached out to each other, families spent time together, hugs were given more freely and for the first time in my life boundaries seemed to be coming down through out our country. For a brief period of time we were again One Nation Under God brought together by something none of use could ever imagine but something that us stronger and most of all proud to be Americans.
I know it has been 9 years and that there are some who don't remember or choose not to remember but I think when we choose that route we forget the heroes that were born that day, normal you and me people who did what they had to do because it needed doing. I think we forget those that died simply because they were where they were at that moment in time. We forget the miracle that happened and all the other positives that came out of a scary and startling event but most of all we forget who we are and what we, as a people, as Americans, are capable of when we choose to forget "that" day. Ground Zero is still there, the Pentagon is still there, that field in Pennsylvania is still there. There are still families moving forward with out loved ones and family sending loved ones out to war to protect us and to remind us of a single day in our history. Time marches forward and so should we, but that doesn't mean we should ever forget.
I remember..... Do you?
I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. I hope it involves hugging someone.