I need to get to bed, but I wanted to capture a couple of thoughts before the end of the day.
Probably like most people in America, I've been thinking about what I was doing on September 11, 2001 and how it has impacted my family. Being in Seattle, we were so far away - I remember driving to work and NPR mentioned a small plane hit the WTC. I walked into work and there were people gathered around the guard shack. I didn't know what they were doing, but in hindsight, they were watching the TV. Work was very odd that day. No one really knew what to do or what we might be needed to do...so we just kind of hung around talking about what the news was reporting. A few people left because they were freaked out and thought our work was possibly unsafe.
I called my mom to make sure she was ok - she had to commute through downtown Chicago and I heard on the news that people were being sent home. I called Joe to hear his voice and to know we were safe.
What I saw on TV was beyond comprehension. Watching the towers fall...watching footage of people jumping out of the buildings to their death...watching the cloud of dust rush toward news cameras...knowing I was watching people die. I still can't get over it.
Fast forward to this year when I was in DC. Seeing the Pentagon and the new portion that was still being worked on after September 11th. This was really the first time I felt an emotional connection. Now it was real. Now that I was seeing this building, talking with someone who now works in part of the area that was destroyed, reading the names in the Rememberance Room and in the Chapel.
I'm grateful to be alive and to have my loved ones with me. Each day as I hear about people dying in Iraq and Afghanistan I am grateful that Joe returned safely when so many other families are in pain.
I am without a doubt thanful to be an American.
My thoughts go out to everyone today who knows someone that lost a friend or loved one.