Thursday, September 8, 2011
(Emery on September 11, 2009...his first day of preschool)
September 11, 2001.
I began work that morning at 7:30. I was a nursing assistant in an alzheimers home.
We rushed from our breakfast tables to the single television on the unit; Just as we turned it on, the second plane hit.
The residents of the home, all members of the greatest generation, heard talk of an attack on America. Some thought it was actually December 7th, 1941. Others thought it was a documentary and began to lecture the young staff about war and sacrifice.
For a moment it was December and September at the same time. 1941 and 2001. Two generations, reacting to the greatest tragedy of their lifetime.
The other girl I worked with was also 18. We were both freshly out of high school - working our first real summer jobs.
We had lived, up to that moment, never thinking about an attack on our shores. We had the luxury of feeling safe in our homes, schools, cities.
It was a somber feeling to sit next to those who fought, many decades before, to protect the freedom that we so naturally took for granted. It has become a defining moment for me, in the transition from childhood to adulthood.
One month later I married. An American flag hung behind the
alter - a reminder that ,even at such a joyous event, our people were in mourning.
10 years later I am raising 3 children.
3 children who will never fully understand the events of that day. The great weight and loss felt by an entire nation. The great love and pride that felt universal among her people.
I sat with them the day bin Laden was killed. I tried to explain to them what he took from America. The lives he claimed - the fear he caused.
Emery said that bin Laden was a super villain and our super heroes killed him - once again wise beyond his years.
None of them really understood. They are children - growing up in a country where they are free, where they are safe, where they have never lived a day in fear.
How thankful I am, 10 years later, to be able to write those words.
How grateful I am to those who make them true - generation upon generation.
How proud I am to raise my children in America - The greatest nation on Earth.