I don’t normally do blog postings from my phone, but I wanted to share something with you. On September, 11th, 2001 my husband had just returned from PT. For those of you who are not familiar with PT it is a workout sessions for the troops which usually takes place early in the morning. Apparently, while they were working out, they were informed about the first plane that hit the twin towers aka World Trade Center.
I remember walking into the front room and asking why he was home so early. He told me to come over to the sofa and then filled me in on the events that had just taken place. We were stationed at The National Training Center in California known as NTC. At the beginning of the attack we really didn’t know the full account of what was going on. As we gazed at the TV we would see the following planes being rocketed into buildings and mass chaos follow.
After that day, a few weeks later, my husband and most of the troops on our street started receiving special orders. Some of us were sent to Guam, Japan, while others like my husband were sent to Germany. It was a scary time. In the coming weeks, I remember a flood of feelings rushing over us. After we arrived in Germany my husband and others like him were rushed off to training. After their training was completed they would return to make sure their wills and POAs were in order.
While my husband was fighting in Iraq my mother got sick and died. This was the first time I would take a flight post 9/11 by myself. I hardly remember anything about the flight home, but I remember the flight that reunited me with my husband almost a year later.
We were seated next to a group of Middle Eastern men on the flight to Frankfurt. I remember vividly as I secretly wanted to exit as soon as they made their way in my direction. Something wouldn’t let me go. Instead of getting off the flight I engaged the man beside me in conversation. I told myself this would prevent them from wanting to take the plane down if they saw me as a good American.
After 8 hours the flight ended and a sudden wave of shame washed over me. I allowed my arrogance to think that I could speak for an entire people, and I allowed my prejudice to dictate my actions. I had never considered myself prejudice until looking back at that moment. Sure, I spoke kind words, but the thoughts behind the words wasn’t something I was proud of.
You see, sometimes we can be prejudice and not even realize it because it is so deeply embedded in who we are at that moment. We trick ourselves into thinking that we are doing some service to a cause when in truth, we are doing it for other reasons. 9/11 means a lot of things to many different people, but this year please remember the healing stage known as recovery.
Love one another and let the differences between you be something good and not bad. That’s all I have.
Sorry if this is gritty!!