Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reflect on the Past to Shape the Future

On this day, 11 years ago I was a senior in high school.  

Summer was officially over and I'm sure I was concerned with what I was wearing and was eagerly anticipating the football game that was coming up Friday night.  

My mom was (and is) a faithful listener of the radio when she gets ready in the morning.  There are at least two on, one in the kitchen and one in the living room, every day.  I had come up from my room in the basement and my dad was sitting in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee before he headed outside to do chores.  I remember being in there with dad and hearing on the radio something about a plane hitting on of the towers of the World Trade Center.  Details were still really scarce, everyone was assuming it was a terrible accident!  

I drove my 1991 Chevy Blazer to school that morning and for once in my life, I willingly, turned the radio from my favorite country station to the news station that my mom listened to.  The trip to school was short, less than four miles.  

There was nothing new to report on my trip in to school.

First period was art.  We always had the radio on in class, but this particular morning I don't really remember it, nor do I remember what we were working on in class.  It could have been entries for the local community college art show, but I'm not 100%. After the bell rang to announce the end of first period I made my way to study hall.  My high school had a very small enrollment and there was only one other student and our PE teacher in the library that day.  Knowing that something epic was happening outside the school walls, we had the TV tuned to the TODAY show.  

Shortly after getting the TV plugged in and tuned to one of the major media outlets we sat huddled around the TV as everyone was still trying to sort out details.  Then it happened.

We watched on live TV the attack on the second tower.  

The three of us in the library that day just sat there and stared at the screen, only looking away to to confirm with each other "did that just happen?!?"  

I remember not moving from study hall to my third period class.  We just sat there and watched everything play out on the television.  By that time, I'm sure all the classes were in front of a screen somewhere and no one was worried about the first and second bell ringing.

The minutes seemed to fly by.  

We watched the towers collapse, the hysteria and the fog that filled the air.

The rest of the day was whirlwind of news shows, well wishes, and sadness.

Reflecting on this day I'm so grateful to those who have previously served and are still serving, in every branch of our military, to protect our freedom!  Thank you (and your families) and stay safe!

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