Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Will Never Forget.

Source -  Copyright Thomas Franklin for The Record

10 years ago terrorists attacked our country and it will never be the same.  It was a time of great change for me, I had just started my freshman year of college.  I was halfway across the country from my family (my parents were in Texas and I was in Michigan) and just learning how to stand on my own two feet.  I was a Tuesday morning and I was in bed when the phone rang.  I decided to roll over and ignore it and let my roommate answer the phone.  She wasn't on the phone long and left as soon as she was done.  Something told me I needed to crawl out of bed and see what was up.

By the phone I found a note "The country is under attack.  Your Mom and Dad are safe."  I was reeling, I didn't quite understand the magnitude of it all but tuned in to the news and watched the days events unfold.  It was hard being away from my family during this emotional time, especially given the fact that my family was living near Fort Hood which is a HUGE military base and was on the list of potential targets.  I felt so helpless, there were so many people who needed help and I couldn't do anything to help them.  It was a shock to me to see how differently many of the people on campus reacted to the events.  I guess it shouldn't have been surprising to me, most of them were not from a military background.

On my campus we had a rock that was frequently painted to reflect current happenings with various groups on campus, etc.   A group of my friends and I decided to paint the rock in remembrance of those who lost their lives that day.  Looking back, it was such a small thing, but it was all we knew how to do.  We were trying to deal with it the best we could on our little college campus.  I am so grateful that my mom made the following scrapbook page for me with quotes that I wrote as well as photos from our "rock decorating" escapades.  Looking at this page always brings me back to that day 10 years ago....

 This is the same page, but showing the bottom flap folds out and had more photos underneath.

The events of September 11th had such a lasting impact on me during that formative first year at college that I did my year long McGregor/Honor's Day presentation on the Impact of Photos of September 11th.  It was an interesting project.  The hardest part of this project was sifting through the thousands of images that were being shown.  I had to narrow my photos down to a small group of different categories of pictures.  From there I categorized the pictures based upon the type of picture they were.   To study people's emotional response I made a slide show and had people write down their initial gut reaction upon seeing each photo.  I was able to draw some interesting conclusions from the study.  Not that I can remember exactly what they were to this day, but honestly.. this project will probably always be the one I remember the most, the one that I am most proud of, the one that affects me the most.  I cried so many tears during this project, but it was still so rewarding.  I was hoping to share the images I chose for my study, but they are on a floppy disk and I have no way to read the disk, maybe I will add them later if hubby can figure out how to get them to me.  But, for now, here is a scrapbook page that  my mom  made showing my presentation board for Honor's Day.

I haven't watched any of the memorial stuff on TV today.. I sort of feel guilty about it.  But for me, reflecting on this event is so much more of an internal thing.  However, I heard the 9/11 "Heaven Remix" on the radio several times, and every time it choked me up... its worth a listen  It is SO sad to imagine all of the children who are growing up without their fathers/mothers, or the wives and husbands who lost their "better half."  Sometimes I take my family for granted, today is a reminder for me that anything can happen and I need to treasure every day with them.

Make sure to make Memories today because Tomorrow isn't Promised.  I love you Natalie and Daniel - you are Mommy's whole world.  I may not be the best Mommy, but I promise you that I will always love you more than the day before.  And Tommy, thank you for sticking by me, fat and thin, happy and sad, etc - I love you and I know I don't tell you enough how much you mean to me and how much I appreciate you.

While we didn't do much today to actually "commemorate" 9/11, I am glad that I spent the day with my family because honestly that's what life is all about.  I don't need a special day to pray for and remember those who lost their lives that day or those who have lost their lives since while fighting for our freedoms, its something that I remember every day.

That is all for today, I had planned to make a post about my long run on Thursday, but I felt like this was much more important. Maybe tomorrow.   For now, time to go listen to a few patriotic songs as well as "Where were you when the world stopped Turning" by Alan Jackson and hit the bed.


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