Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'll Never Forget.

Every generation has a day in their lives that they will never forget. A day that changed the course of history. For some, it was the death of Elvis. For some, it was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. For others, it was the assassination of Kennedy.

For me it was September 11, 2001. I was in the 8th grade. I remember watching the footage with my class. I remember being confused and horrified. Then, I remember being terrified... if they could and would attack something as large as the World Trade Center and something as fortified as the pentagon, what won't they come after? What about my Mom who works on base? Was I SAFE anymore?

I remember very clearly watching a man fall as he jumped from one of those windows. He didn't look that old... a guy that might have been the age I am now. I thought to myself, what must the inside of that building be like if he would choose a death like that? What kind of hell could possibly be worse than cracking your skull open on concrete after the terror of falling from such a height? He couldn't have possibly thought he would make it... I truly believe that this man was choosing his manner of death and he chose the lesser of two evils. It must have been a helluva choice.

I remember when we heard about flight 93. I remember hearing about the man who got one phone call out... just one... to tell his wife that he loved her and that he wasn't coming home. How awful must that call have been? How brave must those passengers have been? Those men that rallied to do the right thing? How terrified must the other passengers have been when they realized that whether the men took on the hijackers or not, they were going to die? Can you imagine having to make a decision like that... to realize that you are going to die and the only decision that you have to make is how you are going to go down? Well kudos to you, passengers of flight 93, you went down in a blaze of Glory and will forever be known as heroes. You made the right decision... the only decision.

Every year, I hear someone say "Why should I thank people for doing their jobs?" in reference to the firemen and policemen and soldiers. Let me tell you why, you ungrateful little snots: Because they did NOT HAVE to do their jobs. That building was coming down. It was FULL of jet fuel (think 100 times more difficult to breath than gasoline) and flames. The gasses from the flames alone would be enough to kill people. Then, of course, there was the smell of burning bodies, the screams of panicked people who did not have a snowball's chance in hell, and the stench of death and despair. Let me tell you something, they did NOT have to go in there. They could have stayed outside and directed traffic. They could have melted down and cried (and who could blame them). But they did not. They ponied up and went inside. They faced the hell that caused that man to leap from that window... the hell that was worse than death. And some of them never made it out. I'm willing to bet my soul that some of them never even considered not going in. They, my friends, are what you call heroes. Neighbors, friends, the people who sit in the pew behind you who died saving others. If that is not a hero, then by George what is?

I also hear every year "Oh Lord, this propaganda again? No one cares the other 364 days of the year and they all pretend to mourn on this one...". You are incorrect. I care. Every freaking day. I watch my husband don his ACU's every day to go fight a war... and I never forget why he does it. Neither does he and I can assure you that it has nothing to do with a paycheck. My husband is a brave man... he is a great man. He is a hero. I know that he would lay down his life to save others and it makes me unspeakably proud of him. Every day is Independence day at the Belle house. I am thankful every day (some more than others) for the people who have died so that I can be who I am. So that I can own my own land (with my husband of course). So that I can worship whatever God I please. So that I can shave my arm pits (some places don't allow that... gross!). So that I can hold a job, drive my truck, drink all I want, wear pants etc etc etc. America may not be perfect, but it is DAMN sure better than some other places. My husband does not trade me like cattle to other men. I, as a female (not a feminist..) have a voice and am not a commodity. Consider that next time you want to curse about how 'sucky' it is here. Also, feel free to leave. Our borders are not closed for people exiting the country. No one is making you stay here. If you cannot be grateful for basic freedom, get out of my focking country. If you cannot find it in yourself to be grateful for the liberties that you were born into, hop a plane overseas to the Middle East. Put on your parka and let me know how much you hate America when you are one of 10 wives for some fat Arabic dude who uses you hard and ruthlessly because you got caught and sold into slavery. Good Luck with that. Pardon my rant.

*Steps down off of my soap box and scoots it aside*

But I digress.

Here's to remembering:

The man who leapt to his death to avoid a living hell
The people who were crushed to death in the stairways by their coworkers in a hurry to flee to safety
The people who suffered through the stench of rotting flesh in the days that followed in the hope of finding just one more person alive.
To the men and women who died because it never occurred to them to be anything other than a hero.
To the thousands of men and women who stepped up to the plate and joined the military to protect me and you (and do not kid yourself into thinking that we would be safe without them).
To the children who grew up without parents because of this tragedy.
To the parents who had to bury their children before themselves.
To the families who will never be whole again.
To the wife who called her husband on the stairwell to tell him that she would love him forever.
To the wife who received a phone call from her husband on flight 93.
To the passengers who had no choice.
To the children, like myself, who did not understand but who will never forget.
To the Veterans who lost life and limbs.
To the people who set aside their lives to help others in need.

To those of us who remember every day, not just once a year.

And finally a picture from today: Joe Caristo of Miami who once worked at the World Trade Centers stands in tearful silence as he remembers the friends and coworkers that he lost 10 years ago.

Link to Story of Obama's words on today and Joe's picture where I found it.


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