Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember

September 11, 2011

Yesterday while cleaning out a closet, I ran across a box of old 8mm video cassettes. We haven’t used our old video camera in years because the batteries stopped holding a charge and we could no longer find replacements for it. Since my three youngest girls were fairly young when we used that camera, I knew they had never viewed any of the tapes. We found audio wires and hooked the video camera up directly to the TV. What fun it was to see what the girls looked and sounded like over 10 years ago. We laughed and shared memories that had long been forgotten.

This past week I’ve been preoccupied with other memories of 10 years ago. This is the first time the younger girls have asked questions about what happened on Sept 11, and their questions brought back feelings I haven’t visited in quite awhile. It’s not as if I’ve forgotten. It’s something that comes to mind more often than I probably realize. But as I pulled out the yellowed newspapers and stack of magazines from years ago, a sadness came over me that I thought was long gone. It wasn’t quite the same as it was when the events unfolded that first year. But I felt it again. I remembered being scared. I remembered all the tears I shed. I remember saying goodbye to my husband and not knowing where he was going or if he would come back home. I remember trying to explain to toddlers where their daddy was. I remember not being able to stop watching TV as our soldiers went to war with an unconventional enemy. I remember seeing reports of wives with small children who were burying their soldiers. And I thought, there but for the grace of God go me. We were spared that grief and my husband returned to us. Our country asked us to live our lives and not let terrorism rule us. And so each day for the past 10 years we’ve gotten out of bed every day and tried to do just that.

I am happy that my youngest girls don’t remember how it felt to survive 9/11. It’s a sadness I hope they never have to endure. I will probably answer more questions in the coming years and try to help them understand what it was like. But I think for them it will always be similar to watching part of their childhood unfold on those old video tapes. They know it was real but they have no memory of it.

God bless all of those who died that day on the three planes and in the buildings that were hit, the firefighters and rescue workers, the people of New York, our soldiers and their families.


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