Memories Of The Moment

I was born in 1968, on a beautiful spring day, when many of our men and women were fighting in Vietnam. I grew up singing Simon and IMG_0213Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence in elementary music class, I watched Free To Be, You and Me with Marlo Thomas, and caught the Kroft Super Show on Saturday mornings, well before cable was the norm. As a teen, I listened to Michael Jackson’s, Thriller, and loved Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. I had excellent grades in high school. Life was good.

I didn’t know war. It was always some place else.

I graduated from college in 1990. I was teaching at my first “real” job. I had my own apartment, car, and was taking care of myself as an independent adult. Twenty-two seemed old and young all at the same time. The Gulf War started and I watched the news coverage. I had my students write letters to the soldiers. I became a pen pal to a young man who was my age. He was a native Iowan, named Pete. We talked of sand, and scud missiles, and the autumn beauty of Iowa. I told him about my classroom at school, how I loved teaching and the leaves changing on the east Tennessee mountains. I wanted him to remember what home felt like….even in the midst of the heat and feeling so alone.

I didn’t know war, except through Pete’s man-boy scrawl. The war was someplace else.

It was 2001. That Tuesday morning started like any other, early September day. It was sunny and calm. My classroom was active with the wiggles that come from corralling energetic elementary school children. Little did I know that the minutes were ticking down on normal. Things were about to change…and my memories of the moments that were about to occur would be forever etched in both my mind and heart. I remember running to the office where there was a TV in the school conference room. I saw the planes hit, I distinctly remember the sinking feeling in my gut. The memories of pacing the floor in disbelief and uttering, “Are we at war?”

With these attacks, this horrible tragedy…war came home…and it has changed me.

Changed us.102_4377


O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.  Psalm 30:2


Remembering those who were lost on this tragic day, twelve years ago. Remembering the police, coast guard, firefighters, and civilians that served that day, and some that paid the ultimate price. Remembering the servicemen and women who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.