Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Another Date

This past Saturday was a tough anniversary for our country. September 11 has so much power over those of us who love this country.

Usually, when Saturday rolls around, we're doing work around the house. This past Saturday was no different. We're not constantly going and going on a normal basis. We tend to sit down and play a game or two on the computer before moving on to the next chore on the list. The Man and The Boy were out doing a little Build and Grow at our local Lowe's with a hair cut to follow. I knew they were going to be gone for a while, so the girls and I weren't running ninety miles an hour to get things done. I decided to put the channel on the television to shows dedicated to remembering that fateful day.

I listened to the stories of survival while I play a few games of Bejeweled Blitz until I had to stop and just watch. The tears kept leaking out of my eyes as I watched grown men talk of the horror and devastation they witnessed that day with their own tears rolling down their cheeks. I found myself getting a tad bit irritated at Makenna because she was reading one of her stories online and was totally ignoring what was being said on the television.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I initiated conversation with her about September 11. She was two years old when this occurred so I knew she was unable to recall any emotion from that particular time period. I told her how I watched the twin towers fall right before my very eyes on the television. I told her how I saw people running for their lives, not knowing what was going on...just knowing they had to flee. I needed her to ...I don't know...UNDERSTAND just how awful it was. I needed her to know how I cried that whole day because I was scared.

Things happen in our lives that we have no control over. I wasn't here for that fateful day in December when Pearl Harbor was viciously attacked. I can't even begin to imagine the fear our country felt in the face of that particular uncertainty. I know I sat in my living room that day with the children I kept playing on the floor and I couldn't take my eyes off of that television. I had recently met The Man and all I knew was he was active duty military and I just knew he was going to be heading that way immediately. Thankfully, he was on a shore duty rotation and not up to be sent over. (I was right ignorant of how the military works then.) All I could think of were the old movies I had watched my whole life with my Daddy. The war movies. Where cities were destroyed by enemy fire. Was this going to happen to us? Were we going to become one of those war movies where nowhere is safe? Were our borders going to become our prison bars? Was there anywhere safe in this world anymore??? It was a hard day as I looked at my child and wondered if I needed to go to the school to get my oldest and bring her home with me so if we had to do something, we were together. Looking back now, it might have seemed crazy. Crazy, huh? All I knew was that if they could do this to buildings in New York....there was no telling what could happen to the rest of the country. (That was before learning the fate of the other planes involved.)

I was blown away by the high security that I encountered the next time I visited The Man on the base where he was stationed. I appreciated it even though the long lines for car passes moved slowly. I still appreciate the security the I encounter when I approach any military base/post.

I can only hope and pray that I never have to experience another tragedy like this in my lifetime. I am scared that I probably will.

All I know is that I don't want September 11 to be just another date in history. For me. I want to cry every single year as I remember that day. I want to cry for those who lost their lives. I want to cry for those who lost a family member and had to carry on after that day. I want to cry for the military members who continue to fight the good fight to defend this country from another senseless tragedy because they're making supreme sacrifices day in and day out for the citizens of the United States of America.

As long as I am alive, this will never be just another date in a history book. It was real. It was hard. It was life changing. God Bless America......please.


Krys72599 said...

Beautiful post.
And sharing your feelings with Makenna, in an attempt to try to help her to understand?
A true gift to her.
You're a good mama.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I share the frustration of trying to impress profundity on the youth. Watershed events of history need to be remembered, considered, learned from. If they are not, we are all doomed. Sadly, I know many of the teens I deal with will never develop the reverence of the sacrifices and efforts of heroes and visionaries of the past. Some of them can barely articulate what's happening around them in town.
Makenna will be fine. She has you to teach her.

I Am Boymom said...

Your post captured what a lot of us felt that horrible day, Hope. And I'm glad to know I am not the only mom who wants my kids to understand why that day needs to be remembered. My kids were wondering why I was watching the news replay all of the horror if it made me cry. My oldest was 2 years old when it happened too, so I did what you did and made them sit with me and watch while I explained how the country was affected by what happened that day. They needed to understand how every single American's life changed because of that attack. And how scared and mortified we were! I also wanted them to hear about the true heroes who rose to the occasion during a horrific tragedy. I want them to know that there are good people in the world too, who will risk their own lives to help others. It was one of the worst days in American history. But also one of the best as far as love, humanity and sacrifice are concerned. We decided to plan something special on 9/11 next year to remember what happened that day and not take our peaceful lives for granted. I'm not sure they totally got what I was trying to teach them, but ya gotta try, right?

The Man on the Edge said...

My Love, I always marvel at the way you have with words. I honestly could not have said it better myself. I even had a little talk with The Boy while we were enjoying our banana split that day. I know he doesn't understand, but, with our help, someday he will.