And I remembered.
I remembered back to that day - I was off work that day, my hubby (then my boyfriend) was upstairs, still asleep. I had just taken a seat on the couch with a cup of coffee and turned on the news.
And I saw the horror that was 9-11.
The first tower was already aflame, smoke billowing through the air. And at that moment, before my eyes as well as millions of others... I saw the other plane fly into the second tower.
And I knew this was no horrible accident, but rather a horrible attack.
I remember it like it was yesterday, running upstairs to tell my dh that we were under attack, that someone's flown planes into the World Trade Center. I remember watching, helpless, thousands of miles away as the towers fell and reports of other hi-jacked planes were coming in.
I remember wanting to do something and feeling like I could do nothing as I watched the aftermath over the next few weeks. People dead and missing... husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children, siblings. Survivors left behind were holding on to the thinnest thread of hope that somehow, their loved one would be found.
And we watched as that thread of hope disappeared as the smoke cleared.
Watching all of the recaps today brings back the horror and disbelief and sorrow.
And I wonder... are other people remembering? Really remembering? Not just looking at a half-mast flag and thinking, oh yeah it's 9-11, but reliving that day as the day that changed the America we know?
We live in a generation where patriotism is a word most people can't spell, much less define. When veterans march in parades carrying the nation's flag, people can't be bothered to get off their cell phones or stop texting long enough to stand and honor our country and the men who protect it... or to honor all of the people lost on 9-11.
For our generation, this is our war.
These are our people.
This is our country.
I know, for me, remembering is a good reminder of both how lucky and how vulnerable we are. Remembering is a way to honor the many heroes who perished that day. Remembering... is how we keep this day from becoming just another day in a history book.
Remembering... is American.