Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remember When

It's hard to think of this as just another Saturday. If it hadn't rained (boo) I'd have lovely tales of 3- and 4-year-olds playing "soccer" (I use that term loosely), but alas, we'll try again next week. So instead, I will remember along with a weary nation where I was Sept. 11, 2001.

I was a junior in college and I had overslept. I rushed around to get to my campus job on time and didn't turn on the radio or news. I don't do that anymore. 

When I walked into the office, it was quiet but not unusually so. Most of the big wigs were in meetings and the secretaries were in and out. I started picking up snippets of conversation that didn't sound right. I finally asked my boss, Heather, what was going on. She looked at me like I was crazy. 

When she said field in western PA, I panicked. She let me use the office phone to call my Nana, who managed to tell me what the geographically-challenged news people couldn't - the crash was nowhere near Pittsburgh or my hometown to the south. 

I hung around the office, not doing much and feeling very lost. When the university announced classes were cancelled, I walked back to the house and joined my roommates in a solemn trance in front of the television. We watched the news and the images of the planes hitting the towers and then the towers collapsing over and over and over. I have a hard time watching it now without getting that same feeling of panic. 

I don't think we talked much. We all disappeared from the living room at different times, to call family and be reassured that they were OK too. I impatiently waited for the clock to strike 4:30, so I could call my then-boyfriend-now-hubby when he got off of work at his engineering co-op (internship). I don't remember what we talked about, but I know I was wishing with all my heart that he was in my living room, holding me, not 5 hours away. 

So much has changed in the last nine years. It pains me to know that my children are growing up in a world where terrorists have always hated us and used planes and people as weapons. I hate that one of my best friends is now halfway around the world, fighting for our freedom, while his wife and baby girl wait for him at home.

I hate that time has made us forget how we felt that morning and who is really to blame. I hate that our country will not be united like that again unless another tragedy strikes. But what I hate most of all is that we are now turning on our neighbors, simply because their book is not the Bible. How does that make us any better than the enemy?

"Christmas Song" from Live at Luther College

Father up above, why in all this hatred 
Do you fill me up with love? 
Fill me love love love 
Love love love. 
All you need is love 
Love love. 
Can't buy me love 
Love love 
Love love 
And the blood of our children all around.

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