Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Have You Forgotten?

Today, I am worse than any car crash on I-10 as it winds through Sun City. I am a total wreck. I woke up with a smile on my face and a Little Bug snuggling up next to me (when does her new bed get here again?). And then it hit me. Before I looked at my phone, before I turned on the news, before anyone said anything to me, I remembered. 

11 years ago today, 19 piece of shit MUSLIM (because that's what they were, who they are, and why they did it) terrorists attempted to destroy our country. Attempted, because even though the Towers fell, even though they split open the Pentagon, even though that plane crashed in the field, they did not succeed. We are still America. We are STILL standing.

I was supposed to post a blog about BMT today as requested by Baby Sis, but that'll have to wait until next week. I didn't blog about September 11th last year, I just wanted to soak it all in, but this year I am plenty soaked. It's been 11 years since my mother woke me up to tell me we had been attacked. 11 years since I groggily asked what she was talking about and thought she meant someone had broken into the house. 11 years since I watched the smoke leave the North Tower and think that it had to be an accident, who would do this to US? 11 years since I watched in horror as the second plane stuck the South Tower  at 9:03 (6:03 my time) and know that it was NOT an accident.

I just remember how sad I was. As the flames and smoke continued to build and the bodies fell from the sky (yes, they aired that live), the Pentagon got hit. Sadness fell away and anger, unspeakable anger flowed through my body. It made it real for me. The WTC was horrific, but the Pentagon was an audacious challenge in my mind. "Here we are, we spit in the face of your military, your strength." I may have waited until I was 21, but I know in that moment, I joined the military. 

The images of people running from the scene, the smoke and ash covering everyone, the men and women in service dress running INTO the Pentagon to help, I can't remember it without tears falling. Everything stung. I felt so helpless and emotional, as I am sure everyone else across America did. I felt so far away in California, so small, and so raw. Every agonized expression on those poor people who were there was like a stab to my gut. 

And then they fell. And so did my tears, which I thought had run dry. It was one thing to see those planes hit, not okay by any means, but there was a moment of "Fuck you assholes. They're still standing!" But they didn't. They fell. I can't even describe the way I felt. I just know that everything ached and everything was changed.

As the day progressed and even the week, we learned who was responsible for this awful, cowardly attack. We watched as people searched for their loved ones, to include some joyous reunions and some devastating revelations of loss. We watch as first responders dug through the rubble day and night and saw everyone pause when they found someone alive or dead. Every time they found someone alive, I just imagined what must be going through the minds of the people who were missing someone. I felt so bad for the thousands upon thousands who would learn their loved one wasn't coming home. I still do. To everyone who lost someone, we will never forget. 

I remember the swell of pride in our nation and our first responders. Every flag that was flown caused a stirring in my heart. Every person lined up outside of a blood bank to donate made me cry. Our nation's Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush saying just the right things to rally this country. I've never been more proud to be an American. I have ALWAYS been proud of my country, ALWAYS (yeah, that's to you Mrs. Obama), but the days and weeks after September 11, 2001 might always be the proudest. Those bastards wanted to destroy us, they failed.

Today, I had to discuss 9/11 with Little Bug for the first time. I had the TV on and she wanted to know about the pictures of the fires and the people who were crying (and why Mommy was crying. This is what I said:

Me: 11 years ago on this day, very bad men called al-Qaeda crashed 4 planes into American buildings and they hurt alot of people, a lot of people died.

Little Bug: That's not nice at all.

Me: No, it wasn't. But America is fighting back. That's why Mommy and Daddy and Aunt Baby Sis all joined the Air Force. That's why Mr. R is in the Army. We fought back and we don't let the bad guys win.

Little Bug: Oh, that's nice. I'm glad America fights back.

Me: Me too baby.

Little Bug: But don't cry anymore Momma, your nose gets red.

I know when she's older, this is going to be more difficult to explain things like this, but I'm just glad it didn't scare her. I'm glad she could see those images (as awful as they are) and know that we fought back, and that it gives her peace. I hope the children of the victims of 9/11 have that peace some day.

Hug your babies, kiss your significant other, call up your momma and tell her you love her, hell, even shake a Fireman's hand (or a cop or a military member), but do something today. Even if it's small, just do it. Never forget what happened and never again take life for granted.


zion hackler-Lopez said...

I was up when Dad called Mom and told her to turn on the tv. :( Warheads on foreheads, its what we do!

Fat Bottomed Girl said...

Warheads on foreheads?! Love it!

Shannon {ava_caitlyn} said...

I love your blog. I remember. Horrific.

Fat Bottomed Girl said...

Shannon, we need wine soon. Very soon. It might restore all the fluid I lost from bawling all day.

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