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.

Labor Day, 2013

Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1882...

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Today, despite country-wide protests from workers, President Palin signed an executive order which effectively changes the meaning of Labor Day.  From this day forward, anyone in the work force who earns less than $100,000 per year will be required to work on Labor Day for no compensation.  The president explained her decision about this change…”There are too many people in our great country who are leeches, don’t you know?  It’s time for the people who have been standing around with their hands out expecting businesses to just give them, you know, things like money when they really aren’t doing anything all that special to earn that money, it’s time for those people to help our county by working one day for free.  That money will be put to better use if we allow the wealthy and big businesses to do whatever they want with it.  Our country has always been about business and making money, not about taking care of the poor.  If you remember your history lessons, you’ll remember it was Paul Revere who made the first silver dollar right after he rang the Liberty Bell and  told the British invaders that we had guns and weren’t afraid to use them.  So if  Paul Revere could make money, why can’t all these other people go out there and do the same thing?  This is America, people.  Wake up!  Labor Day is about business, it always has been.  And business is like Paul Revere, interested in making money.  So we will help those businesses make money.  All of those people who have been taking and taking are now going to have to give some back.  That’s what America is about. ”  (wink, wink)

On a side note, when reporters asked President Palin to explain her desire to invade Canada, she replied, “Now you liberal, do-gooders in the media don’t want to talk about this, but you know that there are a lot of terrorists hiding out in Canada.  You might not believe it, but it’s true, just ask my good buddy, Vice President Dick Cheney.”

Bzzt, bzzt, bzzt…is that my alarm? What day is this?  What year is it?  Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it’s 2011…what a nightmare…

Breakroom Ambience…really

Another crazy busy day at work…this just in from our corporate offices…we need to ambience the breakroom for Christmas!  Seriously?  We don’t even have the time to do all the work we need to get done every day and now they want us to decorate the breakroom…heck, most of us don’t even manage to make it back to the breakroom to actually take a break! I usually try to get outside for a quick walk and often end up eating my lunch at my desk while working on the computer…hmm…maybe I should try taking a real break at least once a day…could do wonders for my stress level…I think the whole ambience thing has more to do with corporate visitors being in our stores over the next couple of weeks than providing us with a relaxing place to take a break.  Hey, I’m all for relaxing…how about some recliners and a nice television…that’ll happen, you betcha!  Okay, okay…let it go…this could be fun…what do I want to see in the breakroom?  I’ll have to give this some thought.

Now on to the challenge…yep, made it thru another day without resorting to the evils of diet soda…have to admit I was tempted once, but just refilled my water bottle and kept moving on.  Tomorrow I’m going to do some real cooking…something to take to work for my lunches for the rest of the week, maybe some pumpking muffins (love, love, love anything pumpkin) and I just remembered I have some rhubarb in the freezer…what can I do with that that doesn’t involve pie?  Looks I’ll be searching for some recipes tonight while I watch my favorite show, Dancing With the Stars!

I did work out this morning before heading out the door to work.  I really do feel so much better when I sweat a little before going to work…seems to at least start my day on a high note.  It usually makes me more aware of what I’m eating, but I have to admit to eating a donut today…we had a birthday girl at work today and, instead of cake, she got donuts.  I can’t really say why I felt the need to eat a donut other than the fact that they were there…that’s one of those bad habits that I’ve got to work on again…thank goodness I never smoked!!!  As difficult as it is to kick that habit, I’d be in real trouble!  No donuts for me tomorrow…but I will be going out for a run, my first one in several days…hopefully I haven’t lost much in the way of fitness…we’ll see…