Every generation has one of those defining "Do you remember where you were when..." moments. For our parents, it was "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" For my generation, it's "where were you when the towers fell?"
Eight years have passed, but I remember exactly where I was.
I was a senior in college at the University of Alabama. I lived off campus with 2 of my sorority sisters, but most mornings I stopped by the house for breakfast before class. That morning started off no differently than any other. My alarm went off and before I even got out of bed I turned on the Weather Channel. (That is a habit I picked up for my father. The Weather Channel was the background music of my childhood.) As I was getting dressed, I heard snippets of what the anchors were saying; something about airports closing across the country due to terrorist attacks. I honestly wasn't really listening and it didn't register with me what was happening outside my little apartment.
I drove to campus. It was a Tuesday. I will probably never forget that only because Tuesdays were french toast days at the house and I never missed french toast day! When I walked in, I found the dining room empty which was abnormal for 8:30 on a weekday morning. For a split second I thought maybe I had made a mistake and it was really Sunday. I walked through the dining room into the living room and found 6 or 8 of my friends glued to the TV.
And that is when I realized the importance of what I had heard and dismissed earlier. I watched with my sisters as the second tower was struck. Some of us were holding hands. And there was a tension and the whispers of "Oh my God. What just happened" reverberating through the room.
I got up and walked to my first class in a daze. Everyone I passed was in that same daze. My history professor cancelled class so I walked back to the house. Everyone was still watching the TV and we watched as both towers fell.
I remember feeling violated and I knew that nothing was going to be the same again. And I was scared...scared about how my life was going to change. I was scared that we were going to go to war and that people I loved would be drafted and that they might die.
Alot has happened in these 8 years, both for me personally and our nation. I have grown up, had a family and most days I don't think about it. As the war that resulted from those attacks drags on and on, I think that we, as a nation, are becoming jaded and I think too many people, myself included, have forgotten what that day felt like and why we are fighting.
I am sure that some of you will disagree with me and that is okay. What is not okay is forgetting. On that day, it didn't matter what our party affiliations or politics were. It didn't matter what our economic status was. Every American felt violated and scared and we stood together that day. It is high time we came together again. Otherwise I fear that we will destroy this country from the inside. And then the terrorists from that day will have won!
Please take a moment and remember those that gave their lives on September 11, 2001 and in the 8 years since trying to protect our great nation!