It hardly seems real that 8 years have past since our entire world stopped turning for a brief moment in time. When all sense of security, and the simple life as we knew it, ended. When the idea of a something as easy as going to the airport - a formerly joyous occasion greeting visiting family or departing on a much deserved holiday - became painful and tedious. When thousands of Americans unwittingly went to work that day and gave their lives for their country without knowing. When families kissed good bye and never saw each other again. And a war that has now in 2009 dragged on too long, and taken too many lives, began.
I know my boys will never understand the full impact of 9/11/01. They were a mere twinkle in our eyes at that time, Shawn and I barely married 6 weeks at the time. They will always know heightened airport security and the fear that it could happen again. I remember vividly coming out of the shower that morning to find Shawn staring at our tiny TV, aghast, silent, barely able to spit out the words "The World Trace Center just collapsed - a plane hit it, or maybe two." We were west coast at the time, and barely waking for our day when the world paused. We watched our TV for hours that day, huddling together under the covers, crying, and I remember how surreal it was watching the 2nd tower fall. This could not be happening here. Not in the greatest, safest nation on earth. This happened in other places, not here. And yet it was real, and the full understanding of what happened took hours, maybe days to sink in.
Eventually we both got dressed and made our way to an overflowing blood bank, hoping to donate blood or something. They turned us away. They were jammed with people and uncertain of how much was needed. Sadly, we learned, very little blood was needed as there were so few survivors. Over time that day I reached out to friends I knew who lived in the city - Adam and Ruth and many others. I heard from them all that they were safe -- as safe as they could be. At the time we knew no one living in DC, but the realism that the core of our country was hit was shocking. Everyone we knew walked in a daze for days to come, asking where were you? are your loved ones safe? what happens next?
And I guess that remains the question. What happens next. 8 years have past but it doesn't get easier, and I'm sure it is still so real and so fresh for those that lost a loved one on that terrible, awful, day. Some people in this world probably made the decision that day that they would never have children. Never bring lives into a world where this type of devastation and evil existed. For us it was the opposite. It made wanting a child, a family, that much more desirable. To show to ourselves, and the terrorists, that bringing beauty into the world only makes it better. Raising our children to be good, decent, caring individuals. Demonstrating love to them that they can in turn demonstrate to others - not just Americans, but all people of this world. Because it is a small world, after all. We should do all we can to keep it that way.