What Can I Say About September 11th That Hasn’t Been Said Before?
Every September, as we get closer to the middle of the month, the memories of what happened on September 11th, 2001 come flooding back. I can’t help but think about that entire morning, at least how I experienced it, from the West Coast.
I still remember when I realized something not so normal was going on. I still remember going to class, and how not everyone in the room had heard the news. I still remember how that was all we talked about for the next two weeks of classes, how could we talk about anything else?
I was only dating my husband at the time, and he was in the IRR (The Individual Ready Reserve,) not active duty or even in the National Guard. IRR at that time didn’t mean a whole lot, just going in for appointments every once in a while. It was more of a technicality.
After September 11th, things changed.
I started to wonder if he would be called up and what that would mean. What that would mean for him, for our relationship. Would we rush to get married? Would be break up? I didn’t know.
As the months passed, it seemed clear that he probably wouldn’t be called up after all. Then time passed.
I had no idea that what happened on 9/11 would change our country, our military, our family.
So as I think about what to write this year, I am not sure what else I could say.
I could give you more details about that day, I know some of you were too young to remember.
I could tell you about my kids and what they know about that day, the kids that were born after 9/11.
I could tell you about how different my military spouse experience has been because of what happened that day, what the war on terror meant on a personal level being married to a service member, or about any fears I still have about having to say goodbye to a spouse as they go fight in this new type of war.
I could leave you with some inspiring words about the sacrifices made.
The men and women who lost their lives in the tower, the ones who did in the recovery efforts, or those who did in the following years in Iraq and Afghanistan because of what happened that day.
I could give you a list of movies and television shows and books that talk about 9/11 or have something to do with that day.
But haven’t we all heard this all before? Is any of it new? Is it even worth repeating?
What can I say about September 11th that hasn’t been said before?
What words can I give that will help you through this day? What can I add to the conversation?
I just don’t know.
I do know that we can’t forget what we as a country have been through.
I do know that our lives were changed in the smallest and biggest of ways that day.
I do know that in the aftermath of 9/11, communities came together like never before.
It didn’t matter if you didn’t agree on 9/10, on 9/11 you were holding hands in a sanctuary, trying to make sense of everything.
You might have two years old, sitting on your mother’s lap as she had CNN on all day.
You might have been seven years old, wondering what was going on and why so many people were so upset.
You might have been twenty years old, sitting in a college class, worrying about your friend who lives in NYC.
You might have been thirty years old, a proud military wife for the last ten years, wonder how this will change everything for you and your family.
Whatever you were doing that day, whatever you remember, if nothing else, 9/11 is a memorial day. One in which we can remember those who have lost their lives, lost their families, or even lost their hope.
Here we are, on the 17th anniversary of the day that changed everything, let’s try to show as much peace, love, and hope to others as we can. For that is quite the opposite of what led to that tragedy almost twenty years ago. And that is what will keep us moving forward as a country, despite the struggles and frustrations we face along the way.
Peace. Love. Remember.