Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day Without Politics......And It Couldn't Come Too Soon!!!

When looking back through time, there are only a handful of moments that one can remember where they were and what they were doing when the event took place. In the three decades plus of my life, I can remember the following dates:

Space Shuttle Challenger: I remember sitting in my fourth grade class watching the first teacher in space lifting off for her historic mission. I remember seeing the look on my teacher's face and all of us asking a thousand questions as to what had happened.

The Death of Princess Diana: I was living in Georgia and for some reason I was up late watching TV. I remember the breaking news alert of Diana being in a car crash. I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach at 3 or 4 in the morning when they announced she had died.

September 11, 2001: I was living in Texas with my fiancee (now my husband). Both of us traveled weekly by plane in our jobs, but remarkably neither one of us were on a plane that morning. Most of us not living in the affected areas that day were trying to see a television at work, at lunch, just about anywhere we could find one. I remember standing with a group of co-workers and there was silence. I remember feeling a sense of community. I felt like I had something in common with people that I may never have had that with in the past.
On that day seven years ago, politics took a backseat. The normal everyday complaints that we had in our lives seemed petty. People in this country were overly-friendly to each other. I remember reading that even criminals took a break off that day and a few days after the tragic events. Yes, we were a country united in a feeling of defiance, our pride, and most importantly we were a country of patriots.

Today, I will not mention politics. Not because I don't want to, but out of respect for that love of country. For one day every year, Americans must ensure that we are united. It is true in life, but easily forgotten, that we have many more things in our lives that should unite us than divide us.

Tomorrow we will return to the partisan politics of our day, but today........I will honor those who no longer have that same opportunity.

If you know where you were that day and what you were doing and feeling, please feel free to share. I would love to hear other points of veiw regardless of your political beliefs.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Smart Girl Stacy for your post. This is an excellent tribute to those who are no longer with us and a true testament to how our country could be if we see through the partisan BS that tears some apart. Not only in politics but in all elements of life. People let their personal view get in the way of the bigger view, the bigger picture!

For me, I was traveling. I was living in the Southwest and had just flown to Dallas the night before. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was asked to train a roomful of new business leaders and someone came into the room and announced what had happened. We all stopped what we were doing and watched TV the remainder of the training session. Ironically, we all learned a great lesson on that day.

Today, I work in the Metro NYC / New Jersey area. On the TV today people were saying how the nation has begun to forget about the events. I can tell you that for those that I work with today, there is no forgetting. Everyone I have met thus far working here knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who lost someone on that day. In some cases the degree of separation is not that far apart.

God Bless America! Thank you again Stacy for your awesome post!

Shauna said...

Hey there smart girl,

First of all, I too was in 4th grade watching (sitting cross legged in the gym) as the first teacher went up in space. I went home that day for lunch with more questions than teeth - but the only thing that really happened when I got to the door was that my mom took me in a huge hug and cried and reminded me how much she loved me - she's a teacher.

I saw the news coverage of Diana's death, but for a little while I thought it was a hoax. I couldn't believe it was true. I stayed up and watched the funeral service at 1 in the morning or whenever it was - and cried.

On September 11th, I was driving to work and I heard about the first tower, and I thought "maybe it was just a terrible accident" and then I heard about the second plane. At work that day, I was charged with sitting in front of the television and sending alerts via e-mail to everyone else in the office. It was a strange task, it felt a little like being a harbinger of death. It isn't shown anymore (Thank God) but I remember watching people throwing themselves out of windows and looking likek nothing more than falling debris - and I fought to not throw up.

Thank God for America and Americans who know when to lay aside the crud of daily life and put the needs of the country before the needs of self. Certainly New Yorkers were heroes that day, I do believe though, that all of America showed some remarkable heroism in the days that followed in the way we lifted eachother up. God bless the land of the free and the home of the brave. (Play Ball!)

Mike said...

I remember us trying to get to the CNN website on 9/11, and it was completely overloaded. The company president had a TV in his office and let everyone in to watch what was going on. He then told us all to go home, and be with our families.

It was a weird drive home listening to Fred H. on the radio as there were rumors about uncontrolled planes all over the country. My eyes kept getting drawn towards the US Steel Building even though there was nothing in the sky. It was actually a strangely quiet day.

I had an infant son at home that was the same age I was during the Cuban Missle Crisis. I was thinking about what my parents must have been thinking about at the time.

gottogripe said...

On September 11, 2001 I sent my 4 year old daughter innocently off to prechool. I had the TV on as I prepared to depart to a coffee to begin organizing a benefit that I am involved with. I stood in shock as the first plane hit the first tower..I didn't know what to do. I know I wanted to race to my daughter's school and protect her.

Five years before, I was a NYC resident and worked in the financial industry. As the the
2nd plane hit and it became quite apparent that it was no "accident" I went to our basement to dig up my old business card file. I had visited those buildings often as part of my job and knew people that were still there. Some survived and sadly, others did not.

The events of that day affected everyone in the world and I hope we never forget. For, me, though I was not a child or even a young adult, it made me grow up. I became more fully aware that we are never really safe and that our lives can come to an end at any time.

My daughter arrived home safely that day and as I greeted the car that brought her, I took her out of the car and hugged her tightly, telling her how happy I was she was home and how much I loved her. Today I have two children and I make a point to do this often because I never really know when it might be the last time I can do so.

Thank you for your postings Stacy!

Anonymous said...

I can add two dates to oyur list that I will never forget. (You are too young, I think.) I remember wheer I was when I learned that JFK and RFK were assisnated. I think that life is that way.

And like all Americans, I remember September 11rh. That day eclipses all of the other dates. Yet, JFK and RFK remain so personal because U worked on both of their campaigns.

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