Where were you?

“Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?”
-Alan Jackson

September 11, 2001.
11 years ago.
I know exactly where I was.
11th grade honors English class, and sitting next to my best friend Danielle.
I will never forget.
I even remember what I was wearing.
Jeans and a short sleeve dark blue & light blue striped shirt.
An announcement came over the loud speaker from our Principal.
 The World Trade Center in NYC had just been hit.
They didn’t have any other details.
The lesson came to a halt as our teacher took a small grey radio out of the closet and turned it on.
 We all gathered around and just sat there.
 and wondering,
Why would someone do this to America?
Our America.
Our country.
Why would somebody want to hurt and kill all those innocent people?
Who would want to do that?
Before class had ended there was second announcement from our principal.
The second World Trade Center was hit.
Another one?
I remember feeling completely vulnerable.
There were bad people out there who wanted to take our country down and so far they had succeeded.
What’s next?
I started thinking of all the major cities in the United States.
Chicago. Miami. San Francisco. Phoenix. Philadelphia.
Half my family lives in Philadelphia!
Were they okay
Were they safe?
 Were they worried?
What was going through their heads?
Oh how my heart ached for my family.

11 years later I will never forget. 
11 years ago bad people did bad things to our country.
Plain and simple.
This was the first time I ever experienced heartache, pain, and being this vulnerable.
There were so many unknowns in the days, weeks, and months following this attack.
Were we protected?
Was it going to happen again?
Who and why did this to us?

Everyday I am so thankful for our freedom. 
I am thankful that we have people willing to fight and protect us.
We live by an Aviation Tech center so there are always military planes flying over.
When I see them it brings me right back to 9/11/01.
They are protecting us and they have a family too.
A thank you for making the commitment of putting themselves at risk to protect our lives.
Seeing a person in uniform these days has taken on a deeper meaning as well.
I’m overcome with a sense of gratitude. 
Hearing the stories of fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters being reunited with their loved ones has a special place in my heart.
 My husband’s uncle was in Iraq for his 1 year tour.
His other uncle worked in Manhattan the day the WTC was attacked and had to walk all the way home.
He went to school with children who became orphans that day because one or both parents worked in the WTC.
So this has really hit home for us.

So now, 11 years later, when we look back at this day it takes on a whole new meaning.  
We lived through this but our children will live to learn about it.
This is now in their history books at school.  
Just as we learned about the battle at Gettysburg, World War II, and Pearl Harbor they will be learning about September 2011.
I’m sure they will come home from school today telling us about the bad people, the brave people, and the people who lost their lives.
I think it’s important that we remember, and educate our children about these days in America’s history.
Where were you when the world stopped turning?


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