My very observant Sam asked me on the way to school this morning,"Mom, why are all the flags halfway down?" And so began the difficult task of explaining to a sweet 6-year-old why anyone would fly an airplane full of people into a building. I think that is what makes this 6th anniversary the most poignant yet for me...remembering that my innocent babe was just 9 months old in 2001. And now, I have to explain about evil in the world, much before I am ready to.
I went back to what I journaled just after 9/11 and want to share just a few of the feelings I had as the tragedy unfolded. Reading it today, those feelings come rushing back, but they are tempered with gratefulness also. Grateful for my country, for my family, and for the sacrifices made daily for both.
"About the time the first tower fell, Tony called from school (he was about 4 weeks into his first semester of law school) and wanted to know details about what was going on that he couldn't get at the school--all he knew was that the towers had been hit and that his first morning class had been cancelled. I tried my best to explain to him that one of the towers had collapsed. He kept trying to say,'Part of it collapsed?' and I kept repeating, 'It is completely gone.' He hung up so he could find a TV with some of his friends. Not long after that, the second tower fell and the damage to the Pentagon was reported. I started to think about our friends and loved ones in the Armed Forces and what this was going to mean for them and the sacrifice that they and their families would be required to make. I was profoundly grateful that my sweet husband was in school and was somewhat protected from any military action. He returned home from school before lunch--we both wanted more than anything to have our family together. When our innocent baby Sam awoke from his nap, I remember whispering in his ear, 'our world has changed forever.'"