Saturday, September 11, 2010
It's been nine years since the terrorists attacked the U.S. It's hard to believe my kids have never really known a pre-9-11 world. They are asking questions now, especially my youngest, like "Were the people on the planes scared because they were flying into a building?" "Why didn't the firemen just spray water on the fire?" and "If people jumped out a window, was there a fountain on the ground they could fall into, like in front of Daddy's old office?"
It's natural, I suppose, that most of the conversation revolves around New York and the twin towers. We've been there and seen the hole in the ground and the building around it being reconstructed. We've been in the fire stations and the TV shows focus on that event. My husband used to work there, and was on the top floor when the bombing of 1993 occurred. So there is connection.
But we live in D.C. now, and we know people who were in the Pentagon. We pass the building often, hardly noticing anymore how it's been fixed, one wall slightly whiter and smoother than the others. Unlike the Ground Zero area, the Pentagon rebuilt quickly and moved on.
For a few years after moving here, we participated in a "Freedom Walk" on September 11. It wasn't a protest or march or anything political. People of all faiths, political points of view, and ages gathered in the shadow of the Washington Monument and walked through D.C., by the Lincoln Monument and across the bridge, by Arlington Cemetery and over to the Pentagon, where a flag was draped over the section of wall that the airplane had taken lives. We were all Americans. We all loved this country.
When Obama became president he canceled the 4 year tradition. He said it was the former president's thing, and we could no longer organize. Funny thing, it wasn't even organized by the president. It wasn't mandated by him or suggested by him. It was organized by a group in the Department of Defense that supports the military and their families.
I miss it.
Anyway, today I remember. Everyone has a story about that day. If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear yours.