I am tired this morning. I stayed up late last night watching 102 Minutes that Changed America. I also let my girls stay up late and watch it…and they have school this morning. But this was important and it gave us time to watch and talk and reflect on some of the events of September 11, 2001. I hadn’t realized how little they knew or even thought about the fact that they would not remember…they were only 10, 7, 3, and 1. All day I had been thinking about ways for us to make the day important and meaningful. This was the answer.
As we watched, the girls asked questions and we discussed what was happening on the screen and what we were doing when the actual events happened…getting ready for school, pre-school, and the day…and what they remembered…only Riley remembers anything and it involves Joe coming home from the gym and turning the tv on and me getting upset that he was turning the tv on before school.
One reason that my older girls don’t remember too much was that we shielded them from as much as possible. Joe and I were riveted to the tv and radio during those next few days, but when the girls were around we turned everything off. We gave them the basic information that they needed and then worked on letting them know that they were safe and we would take care of them.
But now they are older, and it is important that they know and understand and remember everything they can about 9-11. So it is important that I know and understand and remember everything I can…and that I share it with them. It has been ten years, so my memories have faded to flashes and impressions and emotions, but they still stir my heart and bring me to tears and help me remember. I’m recording them here, before I forget.
Memories of 9-11
-My 14 year-old niece sitting on her porch, next door, holding a very personal candlelight vigil.
-The uncertainty and fear and ultimate trust in sending our girls to school that day…and the next few weeks.
-So proud and worried about my Marine brother.
-Feeling such a need to help and not really knowing what to do.
-Prayers and tears and more prayers.
-Intense gratitude for my country, my leaders, my military, and my faith.
-Watching and reading and listening to more news than I ever had before or have since.
-American flags everywhere.
-The beautiful wave of patriotism that swept across our country.
-Fierce loyalty and love for my fellow Americans.
-Nervous anticipation of war and all that would mean.
-Phone calls to make sure loved ones were safe.
-Wishing I could pack up and go to New York and do something.
-The knowledge that life in America had changed…forever.
I will remember…and so will my girls.
I hope you will remember, too. Feel free to share your memories here…or somewhere else…but make sure you record them. There is great strength and power for all of us in remembering.