For the past ten years, I’ve had conflicting emotions about September. Since first grade the greater part of me has flat out loved this month and always will.
It’s because September is a transitional month between the best two seasons of the year—you know—salad and crockpot season LOL:) September is also the month of shorter days, cool nights, greener grass, asters and goldenrod, sweaters, getting the flannel pj’s out, putting the down comforter back on the bed, open windows, turning off the A/C, warm sunny days, no mosquitoes, harvest time, picking apples, making homemade Concord grape jelly…last cookouts.
It’s bittersweet. I know I only have a few more weekends to enjoy sitting on my porch.
But then tomorrow is 9/11. Do you remember what you were doing or where you were when you first heard of the terrorist attacks? I do. It was a beautiful day and tempted as I was to “play hooky”, I did go into the office that day. I had just finished checking my calendar and replying to emails, when another manager called to tell me a plane flew into the WTC. Though it was tragic, I remember not feeling alarmed—it just seemed like another terrible accident--a small plane out of control, or a suicidal prop pilot--it happened before. It wasn’t till the second plane hit, and then the third and then the fourth that any of us realized what was really happening Someone in my office brought up a radio and we listened as the towers collapsed. Most of us holding our hands to our mouths and sucking in our breath so that we wouldn’t cry out in horror.
I doubt any of us actually got any work done that day. Our office was unusually quiet and subdued. At noon, my boss’s wife called to tell him that one of the pilots on Flight 11 was their neighbor—a nice guy who loved to drive his John Deere around his small 5 acre farm. I suggested we lower the US Flag and the company flags in the front parking lot to half mast and later when I left work for the day I saw that someone had done it.
Things changed in America that day. It’s no longer easy to check in for a flight or easy to get a drivers license or credit card or even open a bank account. That’s the price we pay for 9/11 and I’m OK with that.
But what about the other things that 9/11 brought about? That night we all counted our blessings when our loved ones came home and called those that lived far away and told them what so many others never got the chance to say, “I love you”. I once was shy about expressing such emotion but 9/11 changed that forever and I never hesitate now.
The terrorists thought they were successful, they celebrated in their part of the world—how foolish they were if they thought they had succeeded in causing chaos, fear and anti-government sentiment here. Instead they created unity--Americans rallied, we thumbed our noses at them by flying our flags everywhere from our car antennas and pick up trucks and we carried on.
I will never forget that day, I will never forget the loss or the victory---I hope you won’t either.