I think most people remember what they were doing when they heard about the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11th. I remember it well.
We were fostering Dustin at the time and he was having a great deal of difficulty in school. He had his final visitation with his mother the second day of school and he had a teacher who was not very well versed in particular kind of crazy. The school's administration was even worse. He had been suspended for the first time on September 11th. The prior day, Monday, he had attempted to bite the teacher and they suspended him for attempted assault. Seriously.
I got up that morning and saw Robert off to work and did not turn on the TV because Dustin was on consequences. The previous day I had asked the school to gather some work for him to accomplish so I could make him think this was not the free-day he had wanted. I finally called the school about 9: 15 to see if I can come pick up the work. They sounded very irritated and said, "Considering what has happened and all the drama this morning, maybe you should not come." I told them I was coming and that I would be there in a few minutes. We drove to the school without the radio on. I picked up the work and went home.
When I got home I got a call from Robert saying that he was in a small town up north doing his deliveries and he wanted to know if I knew what was going on. I turned on the TV after the plane crashed into the Pentagon and minutes after the first tower collapsed. I, like everyone else, was in shock. The images of ONE World Trade Center tower sticking up into the air was just not right. The world was screeching out of control and I could not believe what I was seeing.
I had just found out that I was pregnant with Harrison on the previous Sunday. I was in shock that I could be bringing a child into a world with such animosity and terrorism. I was already 6 weeks pregnant and the hormones were pumping so I was more emotional than normal. I spent most of the day in tears and sobbing. Dustin was at a loss. I recall Robert coming home from work as soon as he could and we went to fill both cars up at the gas station. Everyone in our city was freaking about gas shortages so we went and sat in line to pay an exorbitant amount of money for gas for both vehicles. Like most people I was numb and glued to my television for hours both that day and days after.
The thing that got me the most and what still haunts me when I think about that day is the alarms the firefighters wear. I knew from my many field trips to the fire station with my Prek kids that firemen wear alarms when they go into a fire. They activate the alarm that they wear on the right shoulder when they go into a dangerous situation. The alarm will sound if the firefighter is knocked down and/or remains still for too long. They would always show this to our kids and have them listen to the whirring alarm as they held perfectly still. They told us that these alarms will sound and that lets every other fire fighter know that they are injured of stuck and need help. I recall watching the second tower falling and hearing hundreds of firefighter alarm sirens screaming out for help. The whirring alarms were so loud you could hear them on cameras that people had blocks away. Each one of those alarms represented a downed fire fighter. It hurt for me to hear all those alarms that rang until they wore out there power source.
What hurts now is the fact that those like Pastor Terry Jones in Florida think that burning the Qur'an on September 11th is a good protest to the pain and suffering inflicted by terrorists on that day. (I am aware that he has since canceled the protest) How would they accept burning of the bible on April 19th, the anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City? Tim McVeh considered himself a christian. Should we consider all christians terrorists and racially profile them? Those that used those planes on that day were not simply Muslims in my eyes, but terrorists, regardless of their religious preference.
Fly your flags high tomorrow. Remember that feeling of one-ness we are experienced in the weeks following 9/11/01. Hate will not bring an end to this suffering.
20 hours ago