It is one of those days that, if you were alive, you remember exactly where you were when you heard that shocking news... and if you are like me you can recall almost your whole day.
Conner was 2 and Madeline was 8 months old. We woke up to the news on the radio.. we quickly turned on the tv and watched in awe, in horror, in disbelief.
I was in the Junior League at the time and had Junior League cookbooks to deliver to the Visitors Bureau that morning. I remember wondering if I should go, it felt wrong somehow to go about my business, while this horrific thing was happening. The building was almost silent with the exception of a TV on in a conference room, with half a dozen people standing around it in shock. I met with the woman I was there to see and we hugged when I left. I know for a fact that if we had met on any other day we would not have hugged. We both felt vulnerable, we felt connected as Americans, we felt like our lives would never be the same, and we felt like we had both lost something very precious.
Having 2 young children my day went pretty much the same as always. Lunch, cartoons, naps, blocks, hot wheels. My parents came for dinner, we had pizza, and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Saddened, sickened, shocked. Heart broken for not only for America's loss but for the loss of each person who knew and loved someone who died that day.
That night as I rocked my sweet, little baby girl before bed, I wept. I wept for all the babies who's mommy didn't rock their babies that night, and never would again. For all the little boys wondering why daddy didn't come home from work. For the wives who so suddenly lost their lover, their partner, their best friend. For the woman realizing their lives would never be the same, sickened with grief because their daughter won't have her daddy here to give her away, and her son will never get to play catch with his dad. And for the parents who's children left this world before them, leaving a giant hole in their heart.
I read a quote somewhere that said something like.... "on that day a nation became a neighborhood."
But more than that, on that day it didn't matter if you were black, white, Atheist or Jewish, if you voted republican or democrat, if you were rich or poor. On that day we were all just American's.
We all feel sadness, loss and grief. We may show the emotions and deal with the emotions differently, but I think the heart breaks the same way for everyone.
On that day we were a nation with a broken heart. I know my heart breaks a little every time I hear about that day.. and I know the rest of the worlds heart breaks a little when they remember that day.
My heart feels heavy today... remembering. I get goosebumps and a little chill every time I hear the stories on the TV specials this time of year. I get a lump in my throat as I pray for those who's lives were lost, for those they left behind, for those who gave their lives helping their fellow Americans and for our men and women risking their lives each day, making huge sacrifices, in an effort to keep our America safe.
The images in this video are horrific.. but they are those same images we all saw on TV 11 years ago today.
God Bless America.