Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 years later, remember 9/11

Every year I try to write about September 11, 2001.  

And every year I feel like I can't find the words, yet the memory of that early morning in San Diego never seems to fade. 

I still remember so vividly waking up just after 6am to the radio DJs talking about the towers being hit. I used to fall asleep to the radio playing, I think I woke up because instead of hearing music at 6am I was hearing panicked voices. 

9/11 happened about a week before I was set to go away to college.  If I am being honest this attack upset me for selfish reasons.  What would it mean for me and my future? I was 18 and ready to embark on my next journey.  

My dad was out to sea {Navy Submarine} and was supposed to pull in that day, they were almost in but because of the attack they were sent back out.  I remember our phone ringing constantly that day and the days to follow.  My mom was reassuring families things would be ok, the boat would pull in soon and not to pay too much attention to what the news was saying.  Hearing her say this over and over again was a reminder I also needed to hear, because again I was being a little bit selfish.  

A few days later my parents were supposed to drive me 3 hours north to UC Santa Barbara for my Freshman year of college.  This was an event all 3 of us had worked hard for and I wanted my dad to be home for this. So selfishly I was upset at the terrorists who attacked our country. It isn't something I am proud to admit, but it was my way of processing what had happened. 

Thankfully a few days later my dad's boat did pull in and he was able to join my mom and I on our road trip to college.  {In true military life my dad deployed a few times in the years to come and did miss family events. As I look back at this event I am super grateful he was able to be home for a small event that was a big moment for me.}

The first few weeks of school were kind of a daze. So many changes in my personal life and so many changes for our country.  I took a world religion class my first quarter and it was no surprise we talked a lot about 9/11. I wasn't ready to talk about it then. I had not yet fully understood how those terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 would affect myself and our country for the years to come. 

Looking back at how selfish I was is a bit embarrassing, but I truly think it was how I was able to process what had happened.  Every year I try to figure out why I had those feelings.  I knew the world, especially the United States would be changed in a significant way after 9/11/01.  I knew our country would go to war. I knew hundreds of thousands of military troops would deploy. I knew military families would be on a crazy journey.  I never realized it would be a 13 years and counting journey.  I never realized I would marry a sailor and would still be affected by the events that happened 13 years ago.  

I think I was selfish when I was 18 because I wouldn't be able to be selfish later on.  As I type this my husband has been deployed for 7 months.  Thankfully I know he is safe, but military life uncertainty, war, deployments, and terrorist attacks are things that always dance around in the back of my mind.  

Every year on this day I pray for the families who lost loved ones, I pray for our government officials, I pray for those currently serving, I pray for those who served after 9/11/01.  Mostly I just pray, because when I don't know what to do I pray.  

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