I don't know why, but this news made me get a bit emotional. No, I wasn't a sobbing wreck, but it DID bring back all of the sadness, fear, confusion, and rage I felt on September 11, 2001. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was barely 20 years old, married to a man who was not so nice to me, and I had a toddler. My oldest child was barely even walking on 9/11. I remember it was quite hot and humid here in Virginia that day, and the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky. I tried to beat the heat by cutting the grass early in the morning, before the heat of the day really kicked in. I came inside after cutting the back yard and turned on the television set. All I see is one of the Twin Towers destroyed, the other still standing. I incorrectly assumed that it was an action movie on TV and went to change the channel....again...and again...and again... The same horrifying images were on every single channel.
That's when it hit me: This was HAPPENING. This was REAL. Nothing I had taken for granted as an American citizen felt "safe" any longer, and my life and the lives of my child and future children would be forever altered because of these events. The world would never be the same again. America would never be the same again. I remember getting confused. I didn't want to believe what I was seeing. And then the 2nd plane flew into the other tower. And I started sobbing. I was terrified and sad and irate all at once. I never once believed that American soil was immune to attack, or that we as a nation were impermeable because we were a world power. Yes, we as Americans fight for what is right. We stand up for our beliefs and are often at odds with one another over differing views. But that's what America STANDS for. Freedom. The right to think, to feel, to worship God in whatever form we see fit without fear of persecution. The right to be individuals, yet be united as one nation in pursuit of the greater good. (Usually. You never know with those politicians,lol) Those freedoms that our great nation was founded on, the veritable backbone of our society, were rattled to the core that September morning. Nothing seemed real. Nothing seemed rational, as violence rarely is....
And all I could do was sob, staring in disbelief at the chaos that was unfolding right before my eyes. The attacks on our soil that day were not simply an attack on America. They were an attack on the free world. The World Trade Center did not only hold US interest...People from many, many other nations were employed within its walls...This was an attack on humankind. A cold, calculated, callous attack, strategically made to invoke the fear of the people on the very deepest levels.
Thousands of innocent lives were lost that day. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers...It hit close to home for almost everyone I knew. Everyone seemed to know somebody who was directly affected by this tragedy. I had a friend whose father works in the Pentagon and was supposed to be in his office that day. He called in sick at the last minute because he wasn't feeling well. Had he been in his office, chances are, he would have been instantly killed. Others I knew had friends or loved ones who worked in the Twin Towers. Even more could hear and "feel" the impact of the plane hitting the Pentagon, as they were living or working in the very close vicinity.
All of these images came rushing back to me today when I heard the news that the mastermind behind these senseless and depraved acts was finally shown justice for his evil acts. I felt every emotion rush back. It was almost surreal. But the images that came back the strongest were those of a blond-haired, blue eyed little boy sitting in the room right next to me as I watched this scene unfold. I remember his smiles, his laughter, and his innocence. He was too young to understand, and I was so incredibly grateful for that. While the world was going to Hell in a hand basket and it seemed that nothing in this world was sacred, I could hear my baby's innocent laughter and see the brightness of those big blue eyes, still trusting the world around him and everything in it. I remember scooping him up in my lap, holding him tight, smelling his freshly washed baby hair, playing Patty-Cake, and thanking God for small miracles, like the innocent wonder of a child, even in our darkest hour. Things like this keep hope alive when it seems all is lost.
Today, the world is a very different place. We as a society are more guarded, less trusting, more alert, and more fearful. Maybe a healthy dose of fear is necessary in the world we live in, but as a mother, I do not want my children to grow up in fear. Do I think that the demise of Bin Laden is going to miraculously restore safety to the world and to our country? Of course not. Where there is one leader, no matter how evil and sinister, there are 100 more like-minded sociopaths waiting to take their place. I am not ignorant. But I CAN feel good knowing that just once, even if it took years, the "good guys" came out on top and there is one less mad man in the world today. We have won this singular battle, but definitely haven't won the war.
So tonight, I am filled with relief and gratitude for all of the men and women who are proudly serving this country. My favorite Uncle is currently in Afghanistan, and I hope that he feels the pride today that many Americans are feeling. I am glad I live in a country that will hold evil accountable and will not stop until justice is served. No, war is not a good thing. But this is not a war we ASKED for; it was brought to our doorsteps. And we KICKED SOME BIN LADEN BUTT!....Even if it DID take a decade of hunting him down! I am proud to be an American, even if it seems that the world is going to sh...you know what I mean,lol
I am so proud right now, I feel like celebrating. In honor of this occasion, I would like to offer any readers who are actually READING this 10 EXTRA ENTRIES into ANY and ALL giveaways they'd like...Just leave a comment on the post or submit the following into the entry form: +10 GOT HIM. For the form entries, you will have to do this one time per giveaway. For comments, you will have to leave individual comments to make 10 entries, and you will have to do this for EACH giveaway. Luckily, most of my active giveaways are form entries, so it won't take too much time! Good luck!