I was not affected directly by any losses of friends or family, for which I am grateful, but my heart still breaks for the many who were affected in such horrible ways for hateful, senseless reasons. I remember that day clearly. I was a tired student teacher, writing on a whiteboard and preparing for class as the pink sun rose in Meridian, Idaho. The principal told us to turn on our TVs. I watched in horror at the smoking building as the second plane hit the other tower. It was difficult to keep composed around middle schoolers who were asking about it, especially when I knew little. It was supposed to be a testing day but the school cancelled all the testing. After first period a teacher poked her head in and told me that the Pentagon was bombed. I remember being glad I was in little Idaho, but immediately thinking about my friend and future roommate, Missy, in DC.
And so all our stories go— the shock, sadness, horror, anger, surging through our bodies in rapid succession and repeatedly. Glued to the television. Racing to the gas pumps. Flying flags. Talking to strangers. Calling family. It really was, as Alan Jackson said in his song, the day the world stopped turning. I’m thankful we have not had anything happen on that scale again and that we’re not too far away from the completion of the tallest building in the world being built right next to Ground Zero in New York. I am proud to be an American. And, though the risks of being involved in some kind of attack are much greater here by DC than they are in the mountains of Idaho, I am proud and blessed to live here.
|Missy and me, teeth chattering, Inauguration '05|