Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Have Come And Gone

   I would be remiss if I did not mention that tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
   It's a day to reflect on those who died at the Twin Towers,Pentagon,and a quiet field in PA. It's also a day to honor the first responders who survived,who died,and who are living with illness as a result of their bravery. Tributes are everywhere this weekend. NY,DC,PA,and many,many smaller events are going on throughout the country.
   I have two different minds about this weekend. My first mind is all for remembrance. Those who died and survived that day deserve a day of reflection.
    My other mind says it's like any other day  since 9/11. You see, I think about it everyday. There is not one day that has gone by since that beautiful  eleventh day in  September of  2001 where I don't think about it. That day shook me to the core. It changed my life and the way I view things. I used to work over 40 hours a week in retail,managing a store. In fact,I was at work when 9/11 happened. All I wanted to do was be home with my family,but I couldn't. I was afraid,angry,and my sense of security was destroyed. I was scared my husband would have to go to war.I was afraid for my little boy-he would not grow up in the same world I did. We were having a new register system installed,so we couldn't close until after they were done,which wasn't until 5:00 PM-and only because the mall manager came around and said the mall would allow us to close early. Why,thank you for allowing that. We actually had customers that day! Really? Our country is under attack and you care about buying underwear? I was completely disgusted and furious. Once again,the almighty dollar trumps everything.
   On the 30 minute drive home,I had the radio on to the news and just cried all the way.It wasn't just the senseless tragedy,it was because I knew life would never be the same. Nor would I. When I got home,Rick informed me that one of the planes flew over our apartment. We lived in Western MA,in Dalton,and we never saw jets. When Rick heard one outside,he brought then three year old Zach to see the plane fly overhead because it was such a rarity. Later on the news, he saw the flight path one of the hijacked planes took....which went right over western MA. That freaked me out. Just the fact that Rick and Zach saw the plane threw me for a loop.I was afraid of bridges, plain white box trucks,and anything unusual for weeks. I would literally be thrown into a state of high anxiety.My stomach would get into knots. My heart would pound.We had many customers from NYC,and we would hear stories from customers about their friends who died,or who were missing. One story that stuck was relayed to me from an older woman,whose son was walking near the Twin Towers after they were attacked.He was hit in the head with a woman's high heeled shoe when it got blown out of one of the towers.
   9/11 is a constant presence in our home. There is no other choice when your spouse is a wounded vet,or if your solider died in the line of duty. Many people just go about their day,and don't think twice. That happens when only 1% of Americans are bearing the burden of war.
     When I see the TV footage of the planes going into the Towers,it still conjures up the same feelings as it did on that day in 2001,so I have tried to avoid  the whole anniversary countdown hype on TV. I saw enough of it for days after it happened.  I also feel sad for Zach. He has not known anything but war. He barely remembers when his Dad was not wounded. For a long time,Rick could not do things that Dads normally do. How sad that Zach's generation will grow up thinking war is a normal thing in life! It shouldn't be.
      Tomorrow I will watch President Obama,Bush,and Clinton make their speeches. I will watch the ceremony at "Ground Zero." Do I want to? Not really. It will make me a mess. But I will do it out of respect for those lost ten years ago.Monday,we will continue living under the shadow of that horrible day. However,we will not let it defeat us.It made us stronger. In that respect,the terrorists failed.

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