Thoughts on September 11th Anniversary
I remember I was driving my kids to school when I first realized something was wrong.
My daughter Amy, who was then 13, was surfing the radio channels on my car. As she flipped past one station, I heard the announcer say, "We'll keep you updated on the plane that crashed into the World Trade Center . . ." and then she continued on looking for music.
"Wait, Amy. Go back. Something's wrong."
Information was sparse and by the time I dropped Josh, Katie Beth and Amy off at school, we didn't know much more. I drove home with Christa, who was 6 months old, turned on the news--and was horrified along with the rest of the country at what happened next.
My husband was in the military back then--stationed at a base several hours from where we lived. He couldn't get to us--but I could get to my kids--and I did. I drove to their school and was greeted by security personnel who wouldn't let me pick up my children unless I showed them my I.D. These were parents who knew me.
On the way home, Amy asked, "Mom, are we at war?"
"I don't know, Amy. I hate to say it, but I think we are."
I kept the TV turned on for hours, watching and re-watching the planes crash and the towers fall. I kept hoping and praying that we would hear reports of people being saved.
Finally, Amy begged me to turn the TV off. Later that day she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Mom, I know I'm supposed to forgive the people who did this. But I don't know if I can."
I felt a lot of different emotions on September 11, 2001. Grief. Horror. Pride in how our country stood united.
I was also humbled by my daughter--who in the earliest hours of that tragedy was already beginning to think how she could begin to forgive.