I've been debating whether or not to post today, September 11th. I didn't want to post on such a somber day about all the fun we've been having. On the other hand, I didn't want to NOT post and skip over talking about today just because it's sad.
I think everyone in my generation can remember what they were doing on September 11th 2001. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was newly 24 years old and in my second year of my Master's at USC. My dad was visiting from Indiana and was set to fly out of LAX that morning. Mr. M (my then-boyfriend!) had spent the night sleeping on my living room couch - he was moving from his shared apartment in Pasadena to his very own "bachelor pad" in Hollywood. I think he had worked the night shift as an assistant editor the night before (it was his first "real" job in Hollywood). We had spent the last few days helping him move - my dad always gets roped into helping people move. ;-)
I was living in West Hollywood, so we had lunch at Barney's Beanery (one block away). No one was even hungry - we were in a state of shock and after hours of watching news on television, we felt like we should eat something...but nothing had any taste. I vividly remember the flags people put on their cars, and that for a moment, it felt like the entire nation was united. How different that day felt compared to now, when we are in the middle of a very polarizing election year and our nation feels so divided on so many issues. On that day, our country (and most of the rest of the world) felt like a supportive family and it didn't matter if you were rich or poor, black or white...we were in it together.
I wonder what my girls will think of September 11th and if they will understand it at all? I suspect that they will feel about it the way that I feel about Pearl Harbor Day or the day John F. Kennedy was shot. I know those were horrible days, but I don't have a connection to them exactly because I wasn't alive then.
I guess for my generation, September 11th was one of the first defining "moments" of our adulthood. It was one of the first times I realized how very terribly wrong things could go in the world, and that as adults we had to stand up and make things right in whatever small way we could. And that sometimes, things are so tragic that nothing will ever make it right or make sense.
I think about all the heroes who were "born" on that day because they stepped up to the plate and made impossible decisions. I think about the families who lost loved ones. And now that I am a mom, I think about all the children who lost their parents and the families that were broken on that day. It is so sad and emotional, and 11 years later it still feels so very raw and tragic.
For me, it's a day when we focus on the importance of family and community, and why it is so important for us to be there for eachother - in good times and bad. I know it's 11 years later, but I will never forget and I will never stop talking about September 11th.
And as time goes on, I will tell my girls about today and what it means to our country. But tonight (because they are still so very young), I will hug them just a little bit tighter, read them an extra book at bedtime, and sing them a few more sleepytime songs...because I can. Today, I am reminded why I love our country so very much and why it is so important to never forget all the sacrifices we've made in the name of freedom.