Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 Remembered

The girls didn't get to watch many of their shows on Sunday morning because Momma was glued to the 9/11 tribute which was broadcast on every major network.  It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years.

I sat down yesterday morning with my cup of coffee and watched TV while two little girls played with horses on the floor next to me.  Every now and then Camdyn would ask me question, "Why did the bad guys fly in to the buildings?  Did the bad guys get out in time?"  Hard questions to answer in a way that doesn't evoke fear in her tiny, innocent, and perfect world.  But also questions that need to be answered.  She'll only remember what she reads and what we tell her.  Eventually she will know the magnitude of that day...although she'll never understand the gravity of it.  She'll never know how much the world changed after 9/11.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

It's Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  I'm living in a two bedroom apartment in Oceanside, CA with my old college roommate.  We both work in the 24 Hour Fitness Corporate Office and we wake up about the same time that morning.  It's 6:30 am pacific time.  I turn on the radio and hop in the shower and about half way through I realize that they aren't playing music and radio hosts are talking.  I realize that their tone is concerned and from what I grasp a bomb went off?  Someone is bombing the US?  I jump out, and immediately turn on the TV.  My TV is tuned to SportsCenter which I was watching the night before, but they aren't talking sports.  There is news on SportsCenter that is not sports related???

Out in the yard with your wife and children

Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky

I call for my roommate and I flip to CNN.  What in God's name?  My roommate and I stand and watch in disbelief. 

Did you shout out in anger

In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

My mind swirls as I try to grasp what is going on in NYC, I think of the Hubs (only he wasn't hubs then...he was simply boyfriend No. 3).  He had just flown in to Chicago to play a series against the Cubs.  I dial him, knowing that I'll be waking him from some much needed sleep.  I am worried.  He's downtown Chicago and staying in a hotel located next to the John Hancock Tower (one of Chicago's tallest buildings).  I get him on the phone, fill him in, and then I leave for work.

Did you weep for the children

Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

When I arrive at work, the scene outside has tragedy written all over it.  Groups of employees are huddled against each other, and some women are bawling to the point of hysteria.  You see, we live and work a mere 15 minutes from Camp Pendleton.  The military (marines) have a huge presence in this area, and likewise, many military wives work for in the 24 Hour Fitness Corporate Office.  They knew the gravity of this situation before many of us civilians did.  They knew this would mean war.  They knew that they would soon be sending their deployed husbands out to make this right....and they were distraught. 

Did you burst out in pride

For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

We didn't work a full day that day.  I think I stayed two or three hours before the powers that be told us to go home. 

I'm just a singer of simple songs

I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran

My roommate and I spent the rest of the evening watching the events unfold on TV, while we restored a coffee table in to usable condition.  For all it's worth, we spent the better part of the week glued to the news. 

But I know Jesus and I talk to God

And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Through all the tragedy, heartbreak and the feeling of helplessness and loss, there prevailed an even greater pride and patriotism.  I'll never forget how many cars had flags hanging from their car windows.  The same kind that people use to show team spirit for their favorite football team, only now they are American flags and we are all standing up for Team America. 

I'll always remember the tears I would blink away and the lump in my throat when God Bless America was played at every remaining baseball game that year. 

The greatest is love

This past Friday night, I saw Blake Shelton and Brad Paisley in concert.  Brad Paisley performed his song "This is Country Music" to a montage of photos of performers who have passed on and snippets of American history.  The song ended with a photo of the towers burning, followed by photos of military men, and the flag.  When the song was over and the music stopped...All that could be heard was a unified crowd chanting "U.S.A." 

The greatest is love.

**Song written by Alan Jackson


Kelley said...

That was such an awful, awful day. I was working at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I remember watching it all on a TV in a patient's room. It seems like yesterday.

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

My heart still breaks over that day. I remember my husband and I had just moved to Savannah GA. I was sleeping late and he called and told me to turn the T.V. on. I asked him why and told me to just turn it on. That is when I saw one of the burning twin towers. I remember watching the T.V. as the second plan hit the second tower. It was horrible. I stayed glued to the T.V. for the rest of the day. I will never forget.

Jennifer said...

What a meaningful post. Although you may have been as far away as possible, the fear and loss we all felt that day was unbearably the same. But the way we rallied together is something I will also never forget. I tried to explain to Christopher in the simplest terms, not sure that he will ever be able to grasp the magnitude of that day. But I know I will never be able to explain the 'why' when he asks :)

TV's Take said...

So touching and still so incredibly sad. When I watch the stories of the heros of that day I'm humbled. There are days I can forget 9/11 but the families of the victims will live with it forever. Great post!

Warren Baldwin said...

You captured a lot of history and emotion in this post. I remember exactly where I was too. In the church office. Two women met in the hallway in front of my office, hugged and cried, the mother and grandmother of a marine. It was a moving day, and this post captured it. Well done.

I don't mean to switch gears too much here but ... did you husband play pro baseball?

Liz said...

I read this post a few days ago and forgot to comment. You were able to capture a lot of emotion in your writing. Definitely something that will help share history with Cam and Chloe when they get old enough to understand..... :)

Sassy said...

You are a brilliant writer Carol. The emotion in this post is so raw and beautiful. It brings back so many memories. It was a very sad day but one that I think strengthened us as a country. Definitely a big day in our history and one I will never forget.