I have no idea what I did nine years and a day ago. In fact the only people I talk to that do are those who lost someone dear to them on 9/11 and can remember the last conversation, hug, meal or other “memorable scene” they had with that person.
I do, however, remember where I was the morning of September 11, 2001 I had decided my 8am Strategic Management class at Belmont was just too early for me that morning, and hit the snooze.
The phone rang & I answered to my mom saying “are you watching the news?” I laughed and said ‘no, I was trying to sleep.’ She then replied “A plane just flew into the World Trade Center, you might want to turn the TV on.”
I went into the living room and wondered what channel it would be on. Suffice it to say, it was on all of them. There was speculation about what it was, how it happened, why, and no one knew yet if it was an accident or not.
I watched live as the second plane went crashing through the other tower.
It was then we realized this was no accident. We were under attack and had no control over what was happening next.
I ran to the shower. I knew I had to get dressed & get out of there. I don’t think I really believe that my apartment out by the lake would actually be one of the next targets, or if I was just scared of being alone during the war that had been started here on U.S. soil. But I just had to get out of there… and fast!
While in the shower, my boyfriend called & the Pentagon had been hit.
Moving even faster, I got dressed and I promise it was my fastest time ever to Belmont. I actually ended up being “early” for class.
When I arrived, the live feed was on every projector in every classroom & 30 or so of us stared in silence wondering if we were safe. We were receiving text messages from friends who were in NY, had family there, flight attendants etc. and from our framily just wanting to know where we were in case something else was destroyed. It seemed almost everyone had a personal connection they were worried about. We cried. Some of us prayed. And one thing was sure different, we were all nice to each other. There were hugs and embraces and a feeling of “I’ve got your back” all over campus.
I don’t remember exactly when the plane went down in the field
I know I’ve got notes on it because I knew there was so much happening I’d never remember it all, so I kept a good timeline.
I remember the sudden need to be together. Together, united for a common purpose of survival… United States of America never meant so much to me and for the first time ever I really believed that we, as a Nation, were in fact INDIVISIBLE!
I remember for the weeks and months following people were kinder. Churches spoke messages of love, healing and communities gathered to help anyone in need. It was as is selfishness dissipated and suddenly we saw intrinsic value in each person we passed. There was no greater than or less than, there was only human.
Then I remember when we declared war in Afghanistan. I was at church when it happened and while at the altar praying, the big screens also showed news coverage.
I also remember when my buddy Toby came out with the song “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” and if you’re not familiar with it, the bridge goes like this:
“And justice will be served and the battle will rage
This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage
And you’ll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. Of A…
Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass, that’s the American way.” Hey, I didn’t write it! But I remember the sense of empowerment so many had like ‘yeah, we’re not backing down from this!’ we were all at some point ready to FIGHT!
Its hard to believe that was nine years ago. Its hard to believe in less time than that we were already back to cutting in line at the market, flipping people off in traffic, leaving a devotion instead of a tip for our waitress, and went back our normal, selfish, un-American like ways of hoarding and letting the chips fall where they may.
We focus more in this country today about being “politically correct” than we do saving lives.
We worry that we will offend someone, or say the wrong thing, or heaven forbid call them a name, so much so that we kill each other by remaining silent. I’ve been called names before, good grief. I’ve been called names that were endearing, some that were true, though not appropriate, and I’ve been called lies. BIG FREAKING DEAL! Shake off the dust!
The worst lie I ever told my self was that I wasn’t enough.
How could I,, actually do something so big, it could impact generations to come. But now, I’m more concerned about not trying, then I am failing.
Call me what you want. I know I’m not the super sexy size 8 I was when I became pregnant; now I’m just super sexy! But, I love names like radical, rebellious, loud, outspoken, competitive, fiery and practically anything but normal. I hate “normal.”
Normal to me is 8-5 work, dinner at 6, tv, bed, rinse and repeat. Always following the rules, never once stopping to think, hey, maybe we could TAKE someone dinner. Or maybe instead of tv tonight, we could see if the neighbors want to go for a walk.
When is the last time you actually did something for someone without expecting anything in return? Hopefully today! When is the last time you threw caution into the wind and made a difference… A big difference? I saw a bumper sticker tonight that said:: “Get involved. The world is run by those who show up!”
All I’m encouraging you to do, is show up. Whether you donate $10 and join this journey with us, or you reach out to a neighbor, just show up. If we could daily walk with the same willingness to love, honor and protect that I know we did on 9/11/01 how big of a revolution could this REALLY be!?
I don’t remember what I did nine years and a day ago, but nine years and a day from now, I believe I will remember today discovering more information on an attempted suicide. I will remember building a radio tower and a high dive at starbucks tonight with my little guy, and getting a new football, and decorating a window for halloween.
I will remember yesterday laughing til I couldn’t breathe with LiAnn.
Will you remember, or will it be just another day that you crossed off on a calendar?
Since I launched my 1st blog as part of a “21 Day Challenge” to ROCK the world of the more than 21.8 million children being raised in single parent homes as well as the parents themselves, I have been astounded at your responses and your giving. I love messages that say “I just gave and now I’m going to get every single person I can on board!” I love stories of how this is motivating you too. Read “Write… Live a Better Story” or “Donald Miller Hugged Me” for specific details of this journey.
I will close by remembering those who lost their lives nine years ago today, honoring the men and women who gave of themselves to save lives and pray for those here continuing on without the loved ones they held so close nine years and a day ago. We will never forget.
Thank you for joining “our story” as we write an incredible new chapter!
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11 Days… Starting Now!
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