Corona Virus Quarantine Day #176: 9/11: September 11, 2020:
19 years. It’s been 19 years since that crazy scary day, September 11, 2001. I can remember as a kid my mom and dad talking about how they could remember exactly what they were doing when JFK was assassinated. I guess I just assumed or hoped that I would not have a similar story that I’d tell my own kids.
This week Fiona had the assignment of learning about where we were when 9/11 happened.
First, I should say, I love that assignment. I love that my kids are learning about history. I teach history and I love it so much, so I’m thrilled to see them grow interested in it as well.
I can remember exactly where I was when I got the news of September 11th. Bryan and I were dating. He had to travel out of town and he asked me to go to his house and check on it while he was away. That was where I was when I saw the news.
I remember worrying that Bryan was in another state and how he’d get home. He was doing John Deere business in Nebraska but when we heard the news of all things 9/11 he decided to come back early and basically got in a rental car on started driving back.
I was in grad school at the time, my classes were cancelled that night, for the record, KU never cancelled classes for anything…this was a first.
Bryan started driving back to his house and on his way back two fighter jets flew over the highway. He said he car was shaking and it was a noise so loud unlike anything he’s ever seen. There were rumors that Air Force One was diverted to an airport in Nebraska. We never were able to confirm that, but it makes for a good story.
One of my close friends from high school worked in the Pentagon at the time. I remember calling her repeatedly trying to make sure she was safe. Her phone was not getting service. No one had heard from her.
It was two full days before I got confirmation that she was safe. The world was incredibly uncertain and very scary. We all sat in front of our TV screens and watched in horror at the images on the screen.
We hugged each other a little tighter. We loved each other a little more. We celebrated cops and firefighters and first responders of all kinds. We were all in sync. There was no division…even if it was temporary…American’s everywhere felt patriotism and pride in their country and were proud to be American.
We were united. I miss that. I think most people do.
I so enjoyed talking with our kids about this historic and tragic day 19 years ago. I am so glad they asked. We must never forget.
We must remind ourselves that there is more good in the world than bad. We must remind ourselves that we are better together than divided. I pray that our nation can figure out the many problems we are facing…or at least remember that we live in the greatest nation in the world and while we are not perfect, we are better united.
Only negative of the conversation of 9/11 is that Fiona never wants to fly again.
I’m grateful to all the people who risk their lives everyday to save others. To all the police officers, fire fighters and first responders thank you for your service.
This day should be a reminder that we should love a little harder, hug a little tighter and not waste a minute of our day because the reality of the situation is that we don’t have any idea when it will be our last.