As everyone knows, tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. Until that time September 11th was just another day. Several weeks ago interviews and TV specials began airing about that dreadful day. At first I was appalled and couldn't help but think that the media was just capitalizing on the event and that they would dishonor a very solemn occasion. But I read an article this week that put everything into perspective for me.
The article was an interview with the pilot of Air Force One who was responsible for President Bush on that day. His mission was not only to fly the Commander in Chief but to keep him safe. He recounted the events of the day, dealing with uncertainty, rumors, and not knowing what was really happening at times, trying to keep a level perspective and think through each situation. He told of the eeriness that afternoon after U.S. airspace was closed - they were the only plane in the air and the air traffic controllers basically told them they could do what they needed to do. There was no conversation with the ground as they didn't know who might be listening. And, as he approached Washington he didn't know what was waiting for them there. Had he done everything he could do to keep the president safe? Then the fighter jets rolled up on his wing, saluted and took them all the way to ground and to safety.
As I read this article I remembered every one's uncertainty. What would happen next? Were we under attack? Is this really happening? As I remembered the emotions of that day I decided that maybe it is a good thing to recall that day with interviews and recollections. Every time I see an image of the World Trade Towers in those final moments, I cringe. That is a vision that will forever be in my memory, along with the emotions of that day. But I also remember how Americans came together very quickly and the unity of people after the attacks. In the uncertainty we gathered together, in the days after we had a new perspective on our patriotism, and tomorrow, ten years later, we will remember.
May God Bless America and Keep Us Safe