Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where Were You

When I was growing up, I remember all the adults remembering where they were when they heard about President Kennedy being assassinated. As a kid, this seemed silly. I mean, sure, it's a big deal, but so big you remember the instant you heard the news? I just didn't think so.

Until it happened to me. Until that morning ten years ago today. I can tell you where I was, what I was wearing, which deejay was on the radio. Everything. Just like it was yesterday. I went to a dr's appointment, then to work and then back home and can tell you almost all the conversations I had at each place. Everyone stopped where they were and did nothing. Nothing at all, other than stay glued to the news.

I began thinking about this post several weeks ago, and thought that I wasn't going to post. There is so much media coverage, so many blogs, so many TV specials, just so much everything. But I can't not do this. I don't know why, really. I think it's my own way of making sense of the whole thing.

The thing I remember most is that, at eight and a half months pregnant, thinking, "What kind of world am I bringing this child into?" The feeling was of so much despair and guttural sorrow at the state of a world so mixed up that terrorists believe their god wants them to slaughter almost three thousand innocent people. What kind of sense does it make to have a baby, when the whole world is careening out of control?

The next big thing I remember was not even a few hours later, the flags came out. By the time I got home from work, no less than eight neighbors were flying Old Glory, and ours was up the minute I got home. Churches were packed, wallets were opened and our own firefighter friends hit the road to NYC.

Patriotism was at an all time high, songs were written, and the country collectively wanted to kick some ass. As horrific as the event was, as the fallout was, as the trickle down effect was, there was such a powerful sense of community and country. Of brother/sisterhood and honor. Of sacrifice and integrity. It was an awe-inspiring time to be alive, despite the overwhelming sense of loss and tragedy.

I will leave you with this quote by former president Bill Clinton that says, "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America." I believe this with my whole heart, my entire being. No matter how dark the times are right now, this country has the capacity to overcome, to rise up, to be great. To be more than great. We'll get there. We will definitely get there.

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