Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where Were You?

While I was growing up, the things I always heard asked, "Where were you when JFK was shot?"  "Where were you when Martin Luther King was shot"..."Where were you during the moon landing?"  Most of these I really had no answer to.  However, "Where were you when the twin towers went down" - now that one I can answer.  I got a phone call from my mother in law.  It was early on a Tuesday morning. My husband and I were both tired, and not really understanding what she was saying on the phone.  I finally decided to turn on the TV.  And there we saw it.  Live and in person.  The first tower had already been hit.  Both Mike and I sat transfixed as the second tower was then hit, and then we sat in horror as the first tower went down...then the second.  We stood - not really understanding what happened.  This was not something that happened in OUR country!  Madison was only 5 years old, and getting ready to go to Kindergarten.  We got her off to school and Mike and I both left for work.  I kept the radio on the entire way to work.  That's when I started hearing evacuation orders for the State Capitol.  And rightly so.  The 6th largest economy in the world is the State of California.  Mike works IN the state capitol - it seemed a good target.  I called Mike.  He was diligently working, refusing to leave the building as it was being evacuated.  I was so mad!  After threatening to come down there and haul him out myself - he finally left.

It was a Tuesday - all the nurse managers work day shift so we can have meetings to discuss the pediatric floor.  How we can make things better, things we were working on, staff issues, etc.  But we really couldn't rouse ourselves to have any type of official meeting, and our boss said it was fine it we wanted to leave for the day.  I think we all left.  I went home and sat in front of the television for most of the day, that night, and into the next day.  Mike and I talked about it - what do you tell a 5 year old about this tragedy?  How do you explain that they are still safe.  Do we even tell her?  We finally decided to tell her - we knew they were going to talk about it in school and didn't want her to hear things from other 5 year olds that may be inaccurate.  It was that day, that we all lost some of our innocence.  Some of our naivete.  I know that many many people will be writing a blog about 9 - 11 and I'm okay with that.  I'm okay that I'm "like everyone else" on this day.  It should NEVER be forgotten!  That day is burned into my memory and 20 years from now...40 years from now - I will have an answer for the "where were you when the twin towers went down....when the Pentagon burned....when the brave people on flight 93 took back the flight that was headed for more death and destruction".

A few years ago I had the privilege of being at the location of downed flight 93 during one of the anniversary days.  There were representatives from the government there, and they asked if there were any veterans there to fold this huge flag.  One of my duties while I was in the military was to take the flag down once a week.  I've folded the flag at two of my great-uncles funerals who were World War II veterans. I was privileged that day to be able to fold the American Flag for those who lost their lives that Tuesday morning.  There is a memorial book at the sight of downed Flight 93.  I wrote this, As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many peopleshould be kept alive, as they are today."  Genesis 50:20

Let us never forget the lives lost, the duty done, the lives saved.  Let us never forget that the U.S. stands for an amazing people - who live life to it's fullest...who love God...Let us never forget 9 - 11.

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