Wednesday, September 12, 2012

9/11: UNITED

I have given much thought to blogging about the tragedy of 9/11/2001. 

As we near the anniversary of this terrorist attack each year, the television, news, and such always talk about THAT day in documentaries, "where were you when...", and the like.

Where was I? 
I was in England, nearing the end of our tour there, about two weeks to boarding an airplane to fly over the Atlantic Ocean, when the attack occurred.

What was I doing and how did I find out?
I was on the phone with the Community Bank asking for that day's conversion rate for dollars to pounds. While on the phone, the teller told me about it. She asked me to turn my t.v. on and to a news channel to confirm what she had been hearing. I did just as she had asked. An emotional flood started. I hung up with the teller and called my husband. That day we went on DEFCON (Defense readiness condition) Delta -- the highest security alert. Security checks of all vehicles entering bases were preformed; bags were checked when entering business; and a photo military ID was required.

What were my feelings?
All as I could do was say "Oh my God! Oh LORD, NO!" **I tear up just recalling those emotions.** How can the people that did this think that it is okay? That this is peace? I could not wrap my head around what had just happened. Our oldest child, two years old at the time, kept coming to me and giving me hugs as I cried huge tears of sadness, grief, and anger.

A day of tragedy turned into something greater ... 
We have memorialized that day as something of total sadness. A day of tragedy it surely was. It was also a day when America found out that we are vulnerable to the attacks that the 3rd world nations and middle eastern countries are accustomed to. It was a day America found just how much we needed one another. A day to stand by each and every able body. A day to learn what it meant to truly help a brother or sister in need.

You see, America understands that freedom is not free -- that it comes at a cost. America understands that when a tragedy happens, that means it is time to lock arms and stand together. *Too bad this does not happen on a daily basis, regardless of tragedy.*

How can we bring light to such a day of tragedy and memorialize it in such a way that it means something other than mourning? 

Most folks who were of an understanding age can recall that day without the graphic images of those planes being flown into the Twin Towers, Pentagon, and that Pennsylvania field. These folks can recall the emotions, where they were, and what they were doing. Why can't we move passed the mourning stage of that day, even eleven years on?

I met with a sweet and dear friend the other day for coffee and she said it best (I am going to paraphrase her words because my brain just does not seem to remember word for word like it once did):

"Each year, when we recall only the tragedy instead of where we have come since that day, they [the terrorists] still win." She is right. I still remember that day and all those emotions. I can clearly see those planes and buildings, the streets and the people. I have never thought to think about "where we have come since that day". I only think about the negative.

You know what? I have a hard time believing that those folks who lost loved ones in that tragedy have not moved on. I am positive that many have possibly remarried, had children, moved up in their jobs, and the like. On the flip-side, I am sure that there are some that probably have been grievously effected by this with nightmares, loss, and depression. These are the folks that have not moved on since that terrible day. All those effected by THAT day are in my prayers every year as the anniversary approaches.

Should we memorialize what happened? Absolutely. Why not?! But how we memorialize it is what we should at. Consider what memorialize actually means. When you see a memorial of battle fields, cemeteries, and such, do they look all broken down with negativity? No. Why? Because these things are hoped to be remembered in such a way as to remember the good things about it. To bring a light, a new feeling to what is a tragedy.
Image was copied from the below link. I am unsure who actually has full rights to the photo,
but I am not the author of this capture. 
I am not saying that we should not always look at the tragedy as a negative, but to move pass just looking at it that way. We should memorialize the good that folks did that day, look to what has occurred since this day, and look to the future as being full of hope.

Each year my prayer will always be for those service men and women who have fought hard in those foreign lands to preserve our freedom. Taking the fight to those who want to cause devastation. Each year my prayer will always be for those who lost their loved ones. Losing someone you love is hard to overcome. But, recalling the goodness is what helps heal the wound.

On a side note: Since we all may not be able to make it to the 9/11 memorial each year, in what way can you do something to memorialize it in a good way? Sending  care packages to our deployed military personnel is one way to memorialize and do good. Another way is by serving the community in a way that it UNITES the patrons of that community as one. In 2009, Congress designated September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance ( What community projects or local neighborhood projects could you do or be a part of? Believe me, from this year onward, I will forever look as 9/11 with a new pair of eyes. I will recall the tragedy for what it once was, but will do something to move us forward.

Remember ...

We are the UNITED States of America for a reason. 

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