Monday, September 11, 2006


Mostly, I remember the running. North from the World Trade Center, to the phone, out of the Capitol, into burning buildings.

Today I ran too. The parking lot near the University of Airplane's memorial service was too full too early, so I had to run. Past the flagpole, the students heading to the flightline, over the grass. I made it just in time for taps, the ROTC cadets with their hands at their backs, some of them who were still in grade school on the day it happened, some of them off to the desert in a matter of months.

In the student union, where Josh the Pilot saw it all unfold as a sophomore, the same television set was broadcasting footage from the day it happened. I sped up as I walked by; it was one thing to watch it happen as it happened. It was quite another to watch it happen as it happened knowing full well that it was just going to get worse.

The President's face as he sat before a grade school class arrested me. I stopped, watching Andy Card lean over the schoolchair in which he sat. He looked so young. Everybody looked so young.


Scott the Taller said...

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. I woke up to seeing the second plane slamming into the other tower. I remember how weird it was going to class that day, all the teachers talked about the events of the day and how they related to their respective subjects. Has it been 5 years already?

MB said...

Yes, and my freshmen were in the 8th grade on that day.

Everyone congratulate Scott The Taller, Now Enganged. Thanks for dropping in, Scott.

tamar said...

Congrats Scott! :)

Last night I caught the 2nd half of "The Road to 9/11". It was like 5 years ago, in the respect that I couldn't tear my eyes away. I sat there with my mouth hanging open, tears pouring down my face at times.

I have 2 wonderful kids (8 & 10), do you know how difficult it is to explain to them? They aren't scared, but in a way, I think it's to them, what Pearl Harbor was to our generation. Yes, it was terrible, but we didn't experience it 1st hand, making it difficult to understand the horror. Everytime I think of the horror, I am reminded of the honor. From rescue workers, to plain old Joe Schmo, EVERYONE helped. I am PROUD to be a part of our wonderful country, and my sincerest condolences go out to anyone who lost loved ones that day.

This is one of those topics that you can ramble about all day, so I guess I'll leave some room for someone else.

erica said...

I, too, was surprised it had been five years already. Like many people in college at the time, I woke up to the 2nd tower being hit, too. Life and class were surreal that day...hmm.

my kidz mom said...

...had just buried my mom the day before; thought the world was coming to an end. And in a way, it did - the world as we knew it.

red pill junkie said...

Nearly 3000 people died that infamous day, but as terrible as that may seem, it will not compare with the tenths of thousands of people that will die in the years to come victims of the maladies brought by the debris and dust they inhaled while helping with the rescue missions.

And I want to note that MANY of those men and women that gave a hand when America needed it were Illegal Immigrants. And I wonder, when they do finally die, will their names be inscribed and honored on the future 9/11 Memorial? Or will they be discarded in death, as they were in life?...

Jenib said...

It was early in the morning. I was snuggled in bed with my 2 yr old watching hubby get ready for work when the phone rang. My mother was on the other line-she never called before noon so I was alarmed- and told me to turn on the television-quickly. The moment was so vivid and time seemed to slow down. My focus was so intent on what was shown on the television. Confusion turned to horror and shock as the scene unfurled and I realized exactly what I was watching. Hubby stopped and sat on the edge of the bed and we gripped our hands together as we watched the second plane hit the tower. I remember praying and calling my mother on the phone and praying some more with her. I cried for all the fathers, mothers and the children that would never see their loved ones again.

Anonymous said...
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Monica said...

Oh, anonymous. How I wanted to flame and snark you for your remarks about the 100,000 Iraqi deaths. After all, are we Americans not allowed to take a short time to grieve our lost innocence in remembrance of that horrible day? Isn't every other day "Bad America! Bad! No biscuit! - Day"?

Well, I gave it some thought and I will admit that part of what we all do as we mourn our dead and dying is reflect on the actions our country has taken since September 11, 2001.

Although am sorry for the bitter tone of your post, Anonymous, I certainly understand your feelings. Personally, I mourn ALL of the loss of life and waste caused by the actions of terrorists and by the steps we have taken, right or wrong, to try to combat them. My grief is culture and color blind, and I am sure that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Looking back to that day, the worst of my life, I realize that it is the only time that I ever experienced something that I immediately recognized as a key turning point at the moment it happened. Our world changed in the blink of an eye and we all still feel it to the bone. From the shared experiences such as seeing our country go to war and taking extraordinary measures for safe travel, to the more personal "dreads" like my compulsive need to check MSNBC when I first wake up each morning and my feelings of anxiety when I imagine that a particular day or event might make an attractive target for a terrorist, we are all irrevocably changed.

Whether or not it is ever made official, September 11th will always be a date of remembrance and mourning for Americans and many others. Hopefully, over the years to come, we will all be able to heal.

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