On September 11, 2001 I was on Active Duty in the Navy. It was actually a nice, comfortable day with only a slight overcast where I was stationed. Only myself and a single Reservist were in our office and we were listening to the radio while I trained him on doing medical record verifications. We were listening to the local “shock jock” on the radio when they stopped the song they were playing to announce that an airplane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. About an hour later our entire command was gathered around a TV set in a commons area where our Commanding Officer passed what information there was about the situation and we started getting reports that some of our comrades in arms had been attacked at the Pentagon. It wasn’t until days later that we found out that some of our own had been killed………
As it is with most tragedies, people tend to remember exactly when and where they were when they first heard the news. If you ask someone who was alive when Kennedy was shot, most will be able to tell you explicit details. My mother, for instance, used to tell me the color and style dress she was wearing when she heard about Kennedy.
Although we, as humans and citizens of these United States, will forever remember our personal stories related to incidents such as 9/11 or Kennedy it is uncommon for us to remember to show the respect to the victims that things like this should require. I am ashamed that I can’t remember the names of the two people I knew that were murdered in the Pentagon attack, but I do remember their faces and the last time I saw them.
Living on the West Coast, not very many people personally knew someone who died that fateful day. This might also be part of the reason why this anniversary is not as much of a deal for many that were so removed from the tragedy. That is truly a shame. If you ask someone from New York or even who was living on the East Coast, they will have very detailed stories and more than likely knew someone who lost their life that day. Some may even have been right in the mix of the chaos.
All I know is this: Our country and world has not been the same since these attacks. I seriously doubt it will ever be even close to the same, at least in my lifetime. The fact that many schools refuse to cover 9/11 in class, many people ignore the date to just go on blissfully blind to the horror that day, and it has become almost another “trivia” question like Pearl Harbor as opposed to a day of remembrance is more than a shame. It is a slap in the face to those that perished in addition to those that survived.
I humbly and simply ask that everyone take a moment and just ask whatever higher power they believe in to watch over the victims both alive and dead. I know that I do not just because it is right, but because it touched us all in one way or another…….