Today is September 11th, I still remember where I was on that morning of September 11th, 2001. We were on my husband’s second tour in the Army at NTC Fort Irwin, California. I was around six months pregnant with our second child and in danger of being called to testify against someone in another state. I walked into living room and saw my husband gazing into the TV. He was like someone’s attacking us. I didn’t believe it at first, I thought it was tragic mistake, but then the other two planes hit. Life for the military changed instantly. Up until then NTC didn’t get deployed out often because it was a training area. Within a matter of weeks everyone that we knew in our area came down with orders. We came down on orders to Germany, across the street Germany, around the corner Japan and so on.
Flying after September the 11th was horrible. I recall not wanting to get on planes because of the constant footage of the planes going down. As luck would have it, after I arrived in Germany, an emergency happened back in the states. The emergency required me to travel back to Texas with my two children. I still remember the fear of stepping onto the plane. It felt like someone had placed a thousand pounds on my legs. I entered the plane and a group of middle eastern men poured into my aisle. I went into panic mode and started preparing my great plan to save the flight. (Sarcasm) As the men sat down next to me and my children, I started talking and talking. By the end of the flight, people thought I was Mrs. Whoever I was next to. I learned something that day, well two things really. The first thing I learned was that, I was arrogant to think my charm was enough to head off a true attack. The second thing was that I feared these men for no reason other than the fact that they were middle eastern. I was well on my road to becoming a bigot until I contemplated the reasons behind my reaction.
No matter the cost, no matter the heartache, we were able to put ourselves back together after 911. I hope we can do the same this time around. I feel like we are countries apart and we all live in the same country. We have people fighting each other because of this and because of that. People can no longer have opinions in this country without harsh criticism. If anything, I wish I could have bottled up some of that American spirit, months after 911 and spread it over the country, today. We used to respect each other, we used to care about each other, but I guess we let politicians get the better of us. But, hey it worked in slavery with the slaves, why shouldn’t it work now?