In a poignant way, 9/11 belongs to everyone. Even those who were merely spectators on that fateful day, share a bond. I knew before the sun set on September 11, 2001, that for my children it wouldn’t be Where were you when the space shuttle exploded, or Do you remember when Elvis died? But for them and their generation it would be, What were you doing on 9/11?
I was in bed, unable to move, one month after the birth of my fourth child. It was the worse illness I have ever had to endure. The doctor’s thought it was complications from the emergency c-section, but later, my gall bladder was removed after a second attack. Thought it was a terrible time for me--it seems small and unimportant when compared to what transpired on the other side of the country that day.
My husband had taken to the children to school and come home to turn on the morning news. The first time he came rushing upstairs to tell me about the first plane hitting one of the towers, I expressed the appropriate concern. At the time, we believed it was a small engine craft. As the morning progressed, he helped me down to the couch to watch history unfold. In my own pain, it was a surreal experience, one that didn’t break through the numbness until days later as the reality struck close to home. When the stories began to be told, I became a victim, too.
What I love about this country, and the good people we meet from all over the world, is the courage that steps forward in the darkest of times. 9/11 reminds me of the unsung heroes from generations past when history could only record a handful of names. Events such as September 11th teach us that while we may not go down in history like George Washington or Martin Luther King, each act of sacrifice we undertake makes a difference.
Now it is clear to me how much our freedom matters. I understand and appreciate the concept of the unsung hero. I see them around me every day and I hope and pray, that courage like the valor that flowered in the hearts of thousands of Americans that day, never dies.