Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you?

On September 11, 2001 I was nineteen and had been married for three months. I was a student at Utah State University. My mother-in-law had recently been life-flighted to LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City because of liver failure. My sister, who was living in Seattle, had just called the day before to tell me her baby was dead. When my alarm went off that morning at 7:17 (back then I believed random times would be harder to sleep through than a regular set time) the voices of familiar NPR anchors filled the room. But what they were saying made no sense. We didn't have a television and I didn't think to check the Internet. It wasn't until I got up to campus 45-ish minutes later that I realized the enormity of the situation. I was almost giddy with confusion and a budding sense of history. All I could think was that now I wouldn't be able to get an airplane ticket to Seattle to be with my sister so I had a long drive ahead of me. Very long.

The world had stopped. Except for the parts that didn't.

Where were you?

Of course, perhaps the most important question isn't where were you then, but where are you now? Hopefully, it's in a more compassionate and loving place.


Kelly said...

I was at home, getting my oldest ready for Joy School. Around 8:30 my husband called me from work and told me to turn on the TV, that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I turned it on, watched for a few minutes, and then turned it back off because I didn't want my preschooler to see it. I took him to Joy School, where the teacher and other parents weren't fully aware of what had happened.

Then I went home and turned the TV back on, played with my baby girl, and watched in horror as the buildings collapsed on live TV. Feeling helpless, I could do nothing but put out my American flag, as a sign of solidarity and sorrow with the rest of the country. When I went to pick up my son from Joy School around lunch time, I turned the TV off. He has no memory of the event, and I deliberately sheltered him from it. Just holding on to a few more years of innocence for him, I guess. That my children should have to grow up in such a world...

And yet, as teens, I think they are as fearless as I hoped they would be. May the Lord continue to watch over them, as he has this country, more times than we can count.

Charlotte said...

Ah, where was I? Waiting for you:) Did you guys really drive? I honestly can't remember how you got there except I was so so relieved when you did.