Sunday, September 11, 2011
Remembering, Reflecting on 9-11
Oh how times have changed.
Where were you when you heard? What were you doing? A familiar question our generation poses as what was our parents JKF moment. King Ralph and I were on a cruise celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary. We woke in our pitch dark inside cabin, reached for the TV controller to simulate some light, only to see what must have been a scene from a action flick...then it clicked as Matt Lauer and Katie Couric began commentating. This was all for real. Our country had been attacked for absolutely no reason. Then as we sat in disbelief the second plane hit the second tower. For three days we sailed around the tip of Cuba, as we were not allowed to dock at port. No one complained. Even when the cruise line gave us all an hour of free pool side cocktails, we knew we were better off in the middle of a vast pool of water than on any land. The evening of the eleventh they held a vigil. Some of the ship's guests teetered on edge wondering if their loved one was alive, injured or safe. A feeling of total helplessness. King Ralph and I still recall an older gentleman getting up on stage singing the national anthem. He sang like tomatoes and bread slices should be tossing him off stage. But it is funny how in a moment like that, that your patriotism takes hold and you feel as though Pavarotti is paying tribute to our great country. As we looked around, tears rolled from eyes, followed by a standing ovation. Symbolic that not even a bad rendition of our country anthem could bring us to criticize. Instead we all felt as one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Today, ten years later, we stood on a hill in the middle of our "central park", Forest Park, that is known for it's winter sledding fun. But on this day it engulfed flags symbolizing the memory of every person whose life was taken to soon. I stood there reading the flag poles marked with a photo and brief bio feeling my tears brew. Asking "why?"
A question we will never really have a true defined answer to.
When I rest my head on my pillow tonight I'll have the same pride I have always had: proud to be an American!