It is hard to believe that this coming Monday, it will have been 5 years since the 9/11 attacks. I can still remember where I was, what I was wearing, what I did, when it happened. I was living off of Laurens Road at the time, not too far from work. I was watching the "Today Show," like I tried to do every day. They broke in when they learned of the first plane hitting one of the towers and I saw the 2nd plane when it hit the other tower. I cannot begin to describe how I felt watching that. It felt like a dream.
I remember thinking "this is a terrorist attack." It had to be. I couldn't believe that I was witnessing such devastation, ultimately the murder of thousands of fellow Americans. I immediately called my family members and coworkers to make sure they were aware of what was going on. I definitely did not want to go to work, but had to. It was not a normal workday. In fact, I don't recall doing much of anything that day. We stayed glued to the tv in the conference room all day long. As the hours passed, the more devastating it was. We witnessed the towers crumbling into dust, people jumping out of windows, the blood, the devastation. It was horrific.
What's hard to put my mind around, even 5 years later, is what it must have been like for those people directly impacted. I have friends in the New York area, so of course, my thoughts went immediately to them, and I worried until I heard that all were safe. I then began to worry about what would happen next. For the first time, I felt unsafe in my own country. I've always known that there were evil people here in the United States and it's not uncommon to hear about the terrible acts they commit on a daily basis. But, there was something terribly troubling about this. WHY did this happen? HOW could it have happened? After all, we live in one of the most sophisticated countries in the world. How could something like this not have been prevented?
The more that came out about the timeline, the angrier I got. I felt helpless. I joined in with the rest of the world in displaying the American flag, wearing a memorial ribbon, attending vigils, etc. It wasn't enough. There was nothing that could be done to take away the terror that I felt. I began to have nightmares and a terrible time sleeping. I didn't want to be alone. This event had changed my life from the moment it happened.
What I finally realized is that the United States of America changed the day of the terrorist attacks and it would never be the same again. Every single person in the country was affected in some way. For the first time, that I can ever recall, we were actually a united nation. What a devastating thing to have to happen in order for that to occur.
I have read many books on these events. Some touching, some terribly troubling, others enlightening. I have just begun to read the "9/11 Commission's Report" and am already terribly troubled by what I've read. There have been documentaries on the History channel that I have watched and it is amazing how much information we, as a nation, have never been told.
It doesn't matter if you're Republican or Democrat. It's not about politics and it shouldn't be. What is for sure, is that everything that could've, and should've, been done, wasn't. That's my opinion, of course. I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't feel the same way. 5 years later, it doesn't appear that much of anything has been done to protect this country. After all, as recent as 2 weeks ago, flights all over the country were being detained for various security reasons. I know that it can't be done overnight. I know that it takes many, many people working together to accomplish this. I would've hoped after what happened almost 5 years ago, things would be somewhat different. It's just terribly troubling to me, as an American citizen, that it's not. No matter what I believe or what others believe, one thing is certain - there are thousands upon thousands of families who have lost loved ones and who should be remembered in our prayers not just now, but always. And, the lives of those people who were lost should NEVER be forgotten. It could've happened to me, it could've happened to you. These were just normal, everyday Americans, going about their normal lives, that beautiful blue-skyed morning. In one blink of an eye, their lives changed forever, as the rest of the world's did.
I am proud to be an American, regardless of how I feel about the things that have happened and continue to happen. I am thankful for the soldiers who risk their lives every single day for my freedom and for the freedom of those I love. As the 5 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approach, I am reminded how lucky I am to be alive. I have so many things in my life that I am forever grateful to be blessed with. God has blessed me and he has blessed this nation. And, we should never forget that.
A new book that is out that I will definitely purchase is by a 9/11 widow. It is called "Wake Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow." Below is a link to an excerpt from the book. It should prove to be very enlightening.
http://books.aol.com/feature/_a/excerpt-wake-up-call/20060906225209990001">Feature- Excerpt: Wake Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow by Kristen Breitweiser (Page 1 of 6) - AOL Books