Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today Is...

...the day that many of us have spent time thinking about where we were and what we were doing seven years ago. Some of us don't want to dwell on it; others ponder it at length. I'm one who doesn't think about it too much. Not because I don't want to remember or don't care about what happened. It's because thinking about it does neither me nor anyone else any good. I can't change things and I can't prevent it from happening again. I remember with honor those who lost their lives this day, those who worked tirelessly in the search and recovery, those who suffered deep grief and those who helped them through it, those who are working in the hopes that this will never happen again. I also don't think about it much because doing so leads me to the possibility that something like this may happen again, and, because I can't stop it and I can't prevent it, not much good can come from deep thinking about it.

If you're interested, seven years ago W and I were wrapping up a mini-trip to Atlanta for his USAR retirement. The last days of his military service. With a flight scheduled for mid-afternoon, we decided to visit the Martin Luther King National Historic Site. We arrived at the site and the building was nearly abandoned. Wondering why, we were looking around the room when an employee yelled "they've hit the Pentagon." Still having no idea what was going on, we raced to the employees. They were watching television on their "movie room big screen" and we sat down to watch with them. Shock, disbelief, fear took hold of us that day. The irony of being in the presence of someone who championed peace and justice while this act of terrorism was going on was not lost on us. With all flights canceled, we found a hotel and hibernated there for three days until we were permitted by the rental car agency to drive the car back to Maryland without a one-way penalty. Airline flights resumed sometime after that. We had talked to all three children every day. S was teaching at a school a mile or so from BWI airport and M was attending a college about 10 miles away. C, of course, was far away in San Juan.

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