Sunday, September 11, 2011
We Shall Never Forget
I wasn't around 10 years ago, so I'm going to let Mom Paula talk today as we remember and honor those who lost their lives 10 years ago and those that are still fighting for our freedom and peace.
Mom Paula: Mimi asked that we all have a special "Remembrance Day" and share our stories of 9/11/01 and post a special Peace Globe today.
I've always been a very patriotic person and am the type to cry when I hear the National Anthem, God Bless America, or watch tributes to our veterans and troops. Ten years ago today, I was on my way to teach classes at the university where I was a college professor. I always liked listening to talk radio while driving in and they made a comment that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Centers. I remember thinking, "Wow!" and didn't think much more of it. I arrived in my office and was preparing for my first class when my phone rang and my mother said, "Both buildings of the World Trade Center have been hit." It wasn't but a few minutes later that she called me back and told me of the attack on The Pentagon and the crash of the fourth plane. Our Internet service at the university became overwhelmed and we couldn't get any information, but the university turned on the news on all of the TVs in the buildings and hallways and I joined students and faculty watching as the twin towers burned. I think everyone was in shock! It was when the towers started crumbling to the ground that tears began falling from my eyes and everyone's around me. We just couldn't take our eyes away from the TV, much less get any work done. We received an email from the university that we couldn't cancel classes, but we weren't to punish any student who didn't come to class. Needless to say, I met with my classes, but immediately dismissed them once they showed up. Who could teach when our country was being attacked by terrorists? I think everyone stayed glued to the TV that day and several days after that.
The next Thursday, I went out of state (on a plane) to the first televised college football game after 9/11 to watch South Carolina play Mississippi State. I remember the anxiety as I boarded the plan and passed through tight security at the football stadium. Prior to the game, all of the music on the loud speaker was patriotic music and when I heard Lee Greenwood sing, "God Bless the USA," my eyes filled with tears. I remember looking into the skies and thinking, "this would be the ideal place for another attack" and being nervous. Instead of the teams running onto the field to cheers and boos from separate locker rooms, both teams walked out on the field together in total silence and unfolded an American Flag that covered the entire field. I don't think there was a dry eye in the stadium.
Our lives have changed since that day. People aren't as trusting as they used to be and the economy has taken a major hit. I, however, will always be proud to be an American citizen of the United States and trust that we'll have peace again, even if that peace comes in Heaven.
Thank you to all of my friends and acquaintances in other countries who've shown their support to the United States during these trying times. May we always remember those innocent people who lost their lives on that day and those military personnel who've fought for and given their lives for our freedom and peace.