11 September 2011

Ten Years

It's so hard to fathom that 10 whole years have passed since that fateful day that changed our country forever. I remember it like it was yesterday:

I was at work, in SC, going about my normal daily routine of invoicing, time sheets, checking email. Nothing different from any other day aside from the fact that my then-boyfriend had just moved to SC from New Hampshire two days prior. 

On September 6, I flew from Myrtle Beach to Boston to help him pack up his belongings and the next day, we started our drive from NH back to SC, stopping overnight outside of NYC to visit with his parents. After our overnight stop, we headed south and drove through the city. Little did we know that the city we loved would be forever changed. 

The next week, that Tuesday morning, the boyfriend called me at work to alert me to what was going on. I sat at work, in shock, trying to find news on the internet. Ten years ago, the streaming media wasn't what it is today and all the usual sites were completely jammed. 

I remember calling my mom at work, having her watching the tv in her office and we just couldn't wrap our heads around what was going on. I know I was scared and wanted to leave work, even though I was in a po-dunk town that had zero reasons to be attacked. I just wanted to be home, with my family and my boyfriend. 

That night, like hundreds of millions of Americans, we were glued to the tv, where they showed the towers fall over and over. I don't think I slept much that night. I kept remembering Christmas of 2000 and how I'd spent the holidays in the city. I love New York -- so vibrant and different from my tiny little town in SC and it had been forever changed. 

My family had made vacation plans months prior to September 11th for the following weekend and we were contemplating if we should still go to the mountains. We did keep our reservations but every time we'd turn on the tv, we were watching coverage of the recovery efforts in NYC. The whole vacation was kind of somber. 

So, that's my memories of 9-11. I cannot believe it's been so long. Do I think our country is any safer today than it was then? I don't really know. Do I think another attack could happen? Yes. Do I spend my life worrying about an attack? Not at all. I'm vigilant but I will not live my life in fear and constant worry. Having spent 8 years of my life as a military wife or significant other, I've spent countless hours with that 'knot in the pit of the stomach' fear each time my husband had to fly into a war zone. I'm very aware of the fact that they could be called to action at any time and that's where my fear lies -- them being put in harms way, not over an attack on US soil.  

I will watch some of the coverage today on CNN but I'll also do things that make me happy, like visiting some thrift stores and antique shops. I know that the people that perished 10 years ago would want the country to remember but to also get on with their lives and I will honor their memory by living a life without fear. 

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