Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering September 11

Another anniversary, but this one isn't a pleasant one. Seeing all the pictures and hearing the stories has taken me back to that day. The feeling of horror, shock, dismay, bewilderment, sheer ignorance, naivete'. I almost laugh at myself now thinking about how I couldn't figure out what the reporters were talking about when they spoke of the drastic effect that it would have on our economy. I know so much more now, because a piece of me died that day, too. A piece of my innocence.

I am a product of the 70's...the Challenger explosion was the big shocking thing of my growing up years, and that was an accident. I had never witnessed anything like this in my life. I was convinced that it must be some horrible accident, something went wrong. Until the second plane hit. Then I believed what I was act of terrorism.

I remember that I couldn't tear my eyes away from the TV. I didn't want to be watching it, but I couldn't turn away. I called my parents. Turn on the TV. I called my sister in California. Her husband answered and I said, "Turn on the TV". He kind of half-chuckled, like, what are you calling at 7:00 a.m. for? But he quickly understood. I called my boss. He was about to get on a call with his boss, so he called him and they watched it together for a bit. I made no more calls, just sat, lethargic, watching, stunned. I prayed and prayed.

Not too long into the day our HQ sent a message to all employees. I can't remember the entire message from our HR director, but I know it started with, "Out of respect for the people," then something like, "who were effected by the tragedy that has struck the U.S. today, Entertainment Publications is closing it's HQ and all satellite locations for the day." Like I said, that was the gist of it, but I clearly remember "Out of respect for the people". I thought to myself - respect for the people. If only those who did this had respect for the people. I was grateful that my company allowed work to cease that day. I know many others had to muddle through.

It was strange and eery for a while. No planes in the skies. No jokes. Nothing was funny. Nothing seemed important. All we could think about were the people who were missing, lost. I couldn't listen to any music. I couldn't sing, my favorite thing to do. I so often do it subconsciously, but after 9/11 I didn't sing for a while. I think it was a few weeks. I remember driving in the car a week after and turning on the radio, but I just had to shut it off again.

The thing that surprised me most, though, is that I couldn't cry. I felt choked up -- I felt like I was going to cry, but there were no tears. It took me a long time to cry, but once I did, the tears flowed. For all the lost. For all those babies born or unborn who wouldn't know their daddies or mommies. For all those people who lost a loved one. For the people who knew they were dying, and for those who didn't. For our aching hearts, our sad, aching hearts when it felt like we could never be happy again. I also cried happy tears that the estimates around 25,000 or more in the towers were wrong. Or that the planes weren't full. But it only has to be one when it is your husband, or your wife or father, mother, sister, brother, child.

The prayers need to continue. For the families affected and for the future of our people and our country. May God bless our leaders and give them unity and peace in their decisions and may He give us peace in our hearts. My prayer is that many more came to know the Lord through this tragedy and have the peace that passes understanding. God bless our freedom, our country and God bless YOU.

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