9 years ago, I was living in Denver, CO. My son was 2 years old and after my husband went to work, he would come crawl in bed with me and I would turn on the TV and he would watch Disney Channel while I snoozed some more. I usually turned it on the channel before I went to sleep, so all he had to do was turn it on and not disturb my sleep as much..lol. He was a very early riser.
The night before I had watched something on a news channel and forgot to change it before bed. He turned on the TV and there was the smoke pouring out of the first building. Like many, I thought that maybe something went terribly wrong with one of those small planes and they had hit the building. I changed that TV to disney and then went into the livingroom to get on the internet to find out more. I turned on that TV to CNN. Though we had a shared T1 line in my apartment complex, the internet was REALLY slow.
I called my dad to find out if he had seen it. I don’t remember if he was watching it or not, but as I was talking to him, the second plane hit and I just knew it was terrorists then. Living close to the air force base, I heard jets take off not long after. I sat glued to the TV. I knew then that the base was locked down. I lived off base and luckily my husband was off base at the time – though I didn’t know it.
I watched as the news came across about the Pentagon. I watched as they grounded all the planes and then couldn’t find one plane. I heard about the Pennsylvania crash. I cried all day. I never thought I could have so many tears. I never thought I could be so afraid for my family. I knew my life had changed that day. I knew that airport security would have to change. I knew that my son, and now children, would never know the joy of watching a plane unload to watch for their father to come off the plane after a deployment.
Being a military spouse in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, was scary. We had no clue what was going to happen. I didn’t know if my husband (like so many did) would have to leave to unknown destinations and do who knows what. I know that immediately following my husband was not allowed to wear his uniform in public – which was a very scary sign. Because even though he wasn’t wearing a uniform, as many know, you can tell by their haircuts and general bearing that they are military.
We were set to fly back home for a wedding just over a month after 9/11. I was scared. So much that I hate to fly still to this day. I flew a few years later from Washington to Houston with just my kids and there was someone who had a silver case (most likely a camera case) that scared me. I now have to fly after taking two xanex to knock me out or now valium if I need to stay awake.
But I digress. After that day, the world changed. Many lives were lost that day of innocent civilians. Many lives of American servicemen have been lost since. We should never forget that day, but we do need to move on and heal the wounds that have been left gaping. It will be hard, but we can do it. We did it after Pearl Harbor – we can do it after 9/11.