This is the first Tuesday since that one... Strange to think about all that has changed since then; and all that hasn't.
I remember sending my students out to recess only to have them all come trampling back in. What on earth? The other teacher mumbled something about the Palestinians bombing New York. I initially remember thinking, "now what?" I had planned on getting some things done during recess. I don't think that thought lasted long once I turned on the TV. Yes, I was a teacher of fourth graders and I let them watch the news that day. And while I didn't really think about the impact at the time, I still don't regret that decision.
I remember wanting to call all of our family members that night, even though we all lived in the same state.
I remember when the personal interviews started coming on TV...people holding pictures of their loved ones, hoping to find them, walking around aimlessly, clutching those photos. Families talking about their last converstaions with sons, daughters, spouses on hijacked airplanes -- hijacked airplanes in America.
I remember thinking that I didn't want to have children in this kind of a world. I remember feeling a sorrow like I hadn't before. I had trouble sleeping for quite a few days that week. I had even more trouble explaining what a "terrorist" was to my fourth graders.
Slowly we got back to life. Except for one thing. My husband has never been the same. He had always been interested in history, and politics; but now he was really drawn to military documentaries. He watched each political speech more fervently. He prayed more specifically about the direction of his life. And God answered...I think more times than either of us would admit. I think pretty clearly, God answered both of us. We hestitated quite some time, enough time so that most people would think it best if Brad NOT join the military, what with a small son and all. But God had answered, and neither of us really felt peace until Brad agreed.
Our lives changed on Tuesday, September 11. Like so many other military families, we might not be here if it hadn't been for that day. But, again, like so many other military families, we are proud to be here. We are thrilled to be a part of this much bigger picture. Not only defending our Nation, but Freedom as God intended. Sure, America has its faults, but folks it is still a Christian Nation. If you don't think so, count the churches you pass as you run errands today, flip through your radio stations, and for that matter your cable tv stations, take note of the Christian book stores in town. (I know, these things do not make Christians, but they are signs of life, a reminder that we live in a place that allows us to choose and practice as we wish. It certainly is not "America's" fault if we have become lukewarm in defense of our beliefs...that is our individual responsibilty.)
I'm sure today will be a day we will always be able to remember "what we were doing when..." And it should be. Many people were utterly shattered that day, the love of their life was gone in an instant; their parent(s) would never again read them a bedtime book. Remember them today, and remember your own emotions and thoughts. What has changed, what hasn't?
This is right after Brad said the "Oath" just hours before he left for Basic Combat Training...
This is the "family reunion" after he graduated from Basic Combat Training...
And this is the day he left for Afghanistan last November.