So I interrupt your cooking schedule to talk about 9/11...
Such a surreal day. Literally. I remember talking to my Grams and my Mother and they knew exactly what they were doing when like JFK and Elvis died. My Grandma remembered D Day. My Grandma remembered seeing the Holocaust pictures for the first time. And you hope that you never have to have a "moment" like that. A moment that you will never forget ever in your life.
Then 9/11/01 happened. I had just started my junior year of high school. All our schools are on the same campus and we had Home Ec in the middle school. First period for me was Home Ec. I remember my old History teach Mrs Bottesch came in and told Mrs McMutrie (sp?) that the WTC had been hit. They were unclear at this time what happened but that she should turn on the news. So she did. Me, in my total ignorance, was like "Isn't that where the Stock Exchange is?" I think Triv was like "no, thats the NYSE building." Yeah, I felt dumb. And we stood there watching this. We didn't know what was going on, all we knew was that a plane had hit a tower. Thinking it was an accident. And I remember someone saying "We see smoke coming from the DC area, can we confirm what is going on there?"
Then we saw the second plane hit. And the shock, fear, terror, could be felt throughout the classroom. Something, someone, was attacking us. Why? What is going on? What is this?
Class ended and we headed back to the high school. All the teachers were in the cafeteria watching it on the TV. It seemed that all the students were just glued to the TV. Some were crying, NO ONE understood what was going on.
I went to my 2nd period of the day which was Japanese. Mrs Mitchell said no classes, we were watching the news. So we did. I remember Joey, big tall Joey, just stand there in shock. We all were. For the first time since we were in K, all of us were stunned silent.
And then the tower fell. That's when my tears fell. All those people. Not enough time. Why? WHAT WAS GOING ON?!?
I will never forget Mr Valentic, my history teacher. He stood there and just kept shaking his head. I never saw him shed a tear but I think he was holding that in. He finally turned to look at us and said to us "From this moment on, none of your lives will ever be the same. Ever. You may not know it now, but it won't."
How true he was. I married a man who is Active Duty military. His cousin was KIA in 2004. I have grown to know countless military families from all over the world. Off the top of my head, I can say I know about 8 people who have died in Afghanistan or Iraq. And countless more that I might not have known personally but I knew their friends. And I watched their tears and tried to help as much as I could.
I will never know what its like to fly and not have tightened security. So many things that we count as norm know, on 9/10/01, they were not.
But our country has shown that no matter what, that didn't break us. Instead we banded together and "fought" the pain and the tears. We became a whole and not someone here or there. Our hearts still ache for those affected and who are still being affected by 9/11.
Even if we didn't know someone personally who was killed on 9/11, our hearts still ached the same for all of them. Their families. Their children. Just for them. The people of United 93 will forever be named heroes. The countless firefights and police officers and contractors who worked countless hours digging and finding/saving people...heroes.
We love them all for what they did. We love people we may never meet. And we love them because in the dead end face of terror, they did what they had to do. And they did it with no questions asked. That is what a true hero is to me.