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Friday, September 9, 2011

TEN YEARS AGO

It's difficult to write about anything this week and so this post is kind of heavy.  The news coverage of 9-11 takes me right back to it all, just like it was yesterday.  The most significant event in my life before 9-11 was the assassination of John   Kennedy.  I had just graduated from high school and I was in my first year of nurse's training.  I was stunned.  I was young and naive and had lived a fairly sheltered life.  I knew my history and knew that presidents in the past has been murdered, but of course I never thought something like that would happen in my lifetime. I remember watching our black and white television for days, thinking if I watched it enough, I would believe it happened.  Over time it became a reality, but like everyone else of my generation I can tell you right where I was when I first heard the news report and I can still hear Walter Cronkite's trembling voice as he announced the president's death.  After that nothing much surprised me, and there were horrible,terrible things that happened over the years, but in my mind's eye the death of JFK was the most powerful...until 9-11.
Again, I know just where I was.  My first thought was to account for my grown children who both traveled as part of their jobs.  Once I knew they were safe I don't think my eyes left the TV for more than several minutes for the first 24 hours.  When the first tower fell I remember repeating to myself "There are people in there, there are people in there."
My oldest granddaughter's school had a commemoration ceremony for those who lost their lives on 9-11.  All the students wore red, white and blue and carried flags. Kate is only 5 and I know she really doesn't understand what all of this is about yet, but I hope when she is 10 and 15 her school is still doing this.  To me our children's children can no longer grow up naive and unaware.  Those days of innocence are gone. If we are going to protect ourselves and our country each and every one of us, young and old, must learn from our past and be prepared for our future.  My personal hope is that we all become more aware of our surroundings, more alert to unusual happenings, more united in our efforts to keep our country and it's people safe. I want 9-11 to be more than just a day of remembrance I want it to be a day of commitment.

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