9/11…a day we’ll always remember

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

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I remember my grandparents talking about where they were when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and my mom talking about where she was when Kennedy was assassinated.  I never thought I would live through a time in history where I would remember everything about a day as clearly as if it had happened yesterday.  But the events of September 11, 2001 are permanently imprinted in my mind and heart.  I imagine it’s the same for most people who were old enough to understand what was happening at the time.

Watching the videos this week, listening to the children and surviving husbands and wives or parents talk about their memories of that day, seeing the memorial ceremonies from all over the country…all of the memories are right there at the surface again.  Even to the point where I still find myself getting teary-eyed.

I was at home that Tuesday morning, I had called in sick that day.  I remember the sky that day being that vibrant blue that we often see in the autumn.  A beautiful morning.  I was sitting there watching the Today show when they announced that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  Of course, at that time we all thought it was just a horrible accident…something that had gone wrong with the plane or pilot error.  Tragic, sad, but not something we could have imagined was planned…not until we saw the horrifying video of the second plane crashing into the second tower.  It was then that we all knew this was an act of terrorism. 

Like most people that day, I was glued to the television watching those frightening events unfold…the towers collapsing, people running for their lives, firefighters rushing into the conflagration risking their lives to do the job they were trained to do, the plane crashing into the Pentagon, the passengers on the flight deliberately crashing the plane in Pennsylvania to save the lives of innocent people they didn’t even know, the grounding of all domestic air flights, the warning that American fighter jet pilots would shoot down any air craft that refused to follow orders to land,  the uncertainty, the fear that gripped all of us, the sadness that something like this could ever happen on American soil.

I was never a fan of George Bush, but I felt he provided strong leadership the first few days following the attacks…his going to the site to bolster the workers there was admirable.  I won’t go into the mistakes I believe he made later, not here, not today.

I have a personal memory of the day after the attacks.  I live in a townhouse, the bedrooms are upstairs.  That day I heard the unmistakable rumble of fighter jets flying frighteningly close to my home.  Still uncertain about what had happened, what plans there might be for additional attacks, I was concerned about what could be happening in my small  town.  It was with relief that I found out the reason the fighter jets were zooming overhead.  Apparently, a man from southern Indiana, who owned a small plane,  decided he was going to fly to Bloomington to pick up his daughter and bring her home where she would be safe.  With the ban on all  flights, the fighter jets were summoned to the area (there’s a nearby base) to force the plane to land or shoot it down.  Fortunately, the man landed his plane at the municipal airport and we were spared the terrible spectacle of a plane being shot out of the sky.  I still don’t know what he was thinking, that the ban on domestic air flights only applied to larger planes?  Or was he just thinking about bringing his daughter home?  I think we all were thinking about our families and friends at that time, more so than we usually do.  I know all I wanted to do was hear from my family and friends, to make sure they were all okay.

I think most of us see some far-away event, no matter how devastating, and we think “how sad” and then go about our lives.  I truly believe the events of 9/11 will remain with most of us for the rest of our lives.  We’ll always remember where we were, who we were with, and how we felt on that day.

My hope for all of us is that we will all be more loving, more compassionate, more willing to help a stranger because of what we witnessed that day…strangers helping strangers, firefighters and police officers giving their lives to try to save someone else, the connection we felt with other Americans as we continued to go through our day-to-day lives, the realization that we are a diverse nation filled with people who truly care about others.  Truly, America the beautiful.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 84

Iced tea with lemon.

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This has been one of those days.  I had to close last night then turn around and open this morning…blah.  I didn’t get enough sleep, of course.  I didn’t make time for breakfast.  I ended up eating a granola bar sometime this morning along with a diet Pepsi.  My boss bought me a chicken sandwich and iced tea for lunch.  I finally got home around 6 pm, fed the cats, threw a load of laundry in, cleaned the cat litter, ran dish water and then realized I’m really hungry.  Nothing sounds good, maybe that’s because I’m just so darn tired.  So I’m going to have an egg, a biscuit, Morningstar Farms veggie sausage,  and a glass of milk. 

I didn’t eat a lot of veggies or fruit today…I guess the iceberg lettuce and one tomato slice on my sandwich count for something although not much.  But I’m actually under on calories for the day, so that’s at least something good.

I did walk and do upper body strength training and some stretching before work and ran around like crazy all day at work.  So much to do, so much to do…We’re going in at 5 am all this coming week to try to get everything done…no, not to try to get everything done…to get everything done…no try to it.  We will do it!

So how’s everybody else’s weekend going?  Anything fun happening?  Any football games?  Cookouts?  Shopping?