Sunday, September 11, 2011

No title today. Because it's hard enough to decide what to say, let alone give it a title.

My cousin and I were discussing today while she was here last weekend. My husband and I discussed it a little last night. It's easy for everyone to put an emphasis on it today since it's been ten years. And when we hit twenty it will likely be a "big deal" again.

But it's still a big deal to me. Every year.

The kids I teach were born after the attacks. My children were born after the attacks. I knew about Pearl Harbor as a child, but until the morning of the attacks, I didn't know what fear America must have felt. I don't think I knew just how important that day was because I hadn't already lived through something similar. Having experienced it... how do you make sure our younger ones don't gloss it over?

My husband and I consider ourselves pretty patriotic. I'd like to think that we'll raise our kids in the way that they will respect and remember this day - as well as others - without having lived through something like it. I pray they don't have to experience something like it. The confusion, sadness, and questions of that day will never leave my mind.

I was nineteen and in college on September 11, 2001. Just before my alarm went off that morning my mom called me from her office. She didn't sound herself and she was telling me to turn on the television, turn it on, we've been attacked. She wasn't panicked, but she didn't sound like normal mom. I turned it on while I got ready for school and almost didn't go. I wanted to stay home, wanted to find out what was happening, wanted to make sure nothing else was going to happen. Every few minutes there was some new piece of information. I still made myself go to school. There, every classroom I walked into had a television on. Teachers had thrown lesson plans out the window. Tests were cancelled. We were told that if we didn't want to be at school we could go back home or wherever we wanted to be.

I came dangerously close to punching a girl who walked into class, took one look at the television, and said, "UGH. We have to watch more of this?? I'm so tired of this!" Yeah, that happened. Let me mention I had an even bigger problem with it because she was not a native of this country. I wanted to hit her. I wanted to shake her and ask her what the hell she was complaining about as a person whose family had willingly come to this country. I wanted to tell her to leave if she couldn't show compassion. The teacher looked at her point blank and said, "If you don't like it you can leave. Go. Leave." Thankfully she did. I'm going to assume that she's no more patriotic ten years later though.

Ten years later. It's really been that long. My brother-in-law and I put up the flag this morning. It was funny because it was a tough choice for us. Put it up to show our support for our country? Yes. But it's been a rainy morning, you don't display a flag in the rain.

Today you do.

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