Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember...

Here's the rewrite of this post. I was very upset from watching the 9/11 replays on TV before I wrote this and upon reviewing it this morning I realized it was a bit choppy. Hopefully, the new and improved version isn't and my thoughts translate better.

     Sitting here today, sunday morning, the 10th anniversary of 9/11, as much as I wanted to write something in terms of an update on my novel's progress and blabber about my journey as I careen down the writers road, I just couldn't. At this moment they don't seem important.
Like you maybe, I remember exactly where I was and I also remember how, somewhere deep inside when I heard the first plane had struck the tower and saw the footage of what appeared to be a deliberate crash - I knew. When the second plane struck, by then, I was absolutely sure it was a terrorist attack. Other reports of at least two other planes, one hitting the Pentagon and the other, Flight 93, crashing in a field somewhere in Pennysylvania underscored my conviction and like everyone else I was wondering what would happen next. Sometime later in the day the phrase "Are you ready? okay, let's roll..." became a part of our memory because it seemed to characterize a spirit that runs deep within the hearts and souls of many Americans. Every day people took on the enemy and paid the ultimate price, perhaps saving thousands of lives in doing so.
We'll never know but I'm thinking it's probably a good guess Flight 93 was headed for a significant target. I believe the men and women on board Flight 93 knew that and sacrificed themselves to save others.
(Dear God, if I only had a fraction of that kind of character and courage.)
I can't imagine the horror of those on the planes and in the towers who knew or suspected that they might be talking to their loved ones for the last time.
Hearing some of the conversations replayed just absolutely tore my heart to shreds.
In NYC when many were running for their lives from the buildings engulfed in flames, others were running in. I recall fearing for their safety as they entered the buildings to help people get out.
Bodies of people jumping from the towers were hitting the roofs and porticos below with horrifyingly loud thuds and crashes. People on the ground were advised to stay inside so as not to be struck by them.
Of all the sights and sounds of that day, now ten years later, that is the one that still and will always haunt me the most.
I remember screaming at the TV for everyone to get out get out get out get out get out......
When the buildings collapsed I stood there in my living room, my mouth hanging open, knowing that as I watched thousands were being killed.
I heard and read in the following days, weeks, months and years since 9/11 of how we, as a nation, had lost our innocence that day, and, maybe in a sense we did but I also knew it wasn't the first time. I'm reminded of the film footage of the attack on Pearl Harbor too and I wonder what part of us was lost on that day. The day JFK was murdered. The day Martin Luther King was killed. When Vietnam vets returned to their country amid scorn and ridicule, in the 60's and 70's.
I think we lost our innocence a long long time ago.
Some days I'm not even sure we ever were, innocent.
Not to say that we're guilty but to say that we, as a nation and a people, have been down this road before for many of the same reasons and each time we have faced tragedy and loss together.
     We all, as a country, live and die by the same sword and if that sword is not the sword of truth and liberty then we are no better than our attackers. If we become complacent or smug about who we are, or, if we turn our eyes from the true condition of this world as we have clearly done in the past, then history is bound to repeat itself. If we forget.
Full body scans at the airports and phone and email screening will not stop it either. I'm not saying we shouldn't do it, I'm saying it won't be enough. We know a lot more than we did pre 9/11, about a lot of things. We've become a nation looking over our shoulder, even here at home.
It's discouraging to think that evil runs amok on this earth with victims aplenty.

We've given many sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in the cause to rescue and protect each other and this country.Our ideals are worth fighting for.
Ideals we, myself included, all believe in. They are also the reasons we were attacked.
I really don't think we ever forgot, I just think we didn't remember.
I remember.... know where to find me...