Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Remember 9/11

Yesterday was September 11th. A day that years ago changed the way I looked at everything. Since 9/11/01 I have been slightly nervous when going to any type of event, function or location  that is high profile or highly populated. I now look at any place being a potential target. I won't even go the the MacDill Air Force Show which was something I once loved. I had always wanted to visit India and Ireland and many other places but I am terrified of flying, terrified of hijackers and terrorists.

I tell myself that being scared is exactly the one thing I should not be. It is the one way the terrorist of the world will continue to win. But despite this I can't help it.

I remember the lump in the pit of my stomach when I heard that a plane had struck one of the Twin Towers in New York and how that lump vanished and left a hollow pit of fear when I listened to broadcasters announce that another plane had struck the other tower. I felt my stomach heaving and with sobs before I even realized I had started crying.

I remember trying to make calls and the phones weren't going through. I held the hand of coworkers and cried when the towers fell. I recall feeling guilty when I thought to myself "Thank God we aren't in New York". I prayed for everyone in New York and for everyone in the pentagon and I mourned the passengers that became hero's on Flight 93. I prayed for our country.

I felt such an overwhelming combination of hope, despair, anger and pride when I saw footage of police, firefighters and civilians searching through rubble for any signs of life, or memorials for the people who's lives were lost.

The days following the attacks we saw the American Flag being flown like never before. It was like a beacon of hope during this frightening time and you couldn't go anywhere without Old Glory waving at you as if it was saying "I am here. I will always be here. You aren't alone." It gave me chills and still does when I think of it. Suddenly we really became "One Nation under God". We were all brothers. People shook hands with officers they met on the street. They waved at firefighters and EMTs. They saluted soldiers. I remember thinking that maybe in the wake of this tragedy things will get better and these lives weren't lost in vane.

But as the years have gone by I see the flag less and less. I see idiots posting on facebook about hating police because they got ticketed for speeding. I  read article after article about "God" being taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem not being played. My heart aches each time.

I am not an overly religious person. I don't go to church. I don't think not being a "Christian" is a ticket to hell. I believe everyone has a right to believe and practice whatever faith they choose as long as it is in PEACE. But wars have been fought and people have died for this their beliefs. This country has many lives defending and protecting our beliefs. This is a country that was built under the belief that we are One Nation Under God. You don't have to even agree with that to live here! How amazing of a country do we have when we accept and embrace people who don't even agree with the the principles we built this nation on!?!? I have to say that is pretty incredible.

So I guess what I am saying is don't wait until we are attacked to be a patriot. Don't wait until a memorial to remember things that we should never forget. Be grateful every day for your freedom and be proud that we have people who will defend that right and protect us even at the cost of their own lives. Be thankful to the heroes you meet every day. Those people may be Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Techs Soldiers or even the brave citizen on the street that runs into danger to help when others run away. And be grateful every day for your blessings no matter how small they may seem. Each breath you take is a blessing if you look at it that way.

1 comment:

  1. Every year I think the same thing- less and less flags, less people remembering. Our country was founded by those who weren't afraid to speak their mind and formed our nation under God. Who are we to change what our founding father's wrote?