Eight years ago I was woken up and told: "We're under attack! There are planes attacking New York City!"
My mind, groggy from just being woken up - was filled with such noise and confusion all I thought of was: Red Dawn. (Red Dawn is a classic 80's movie made during the Cold War where the Russians infiltrate the heart of the U.S. and a group of young high school kids - The Wolverines fight back). I had a very intense nightmare months after watching it and was reminded of it when I was woken up.
"What - what's happening?" I tried to clarify.
"There are planes attacking New York City - Tammy just called and told me." Amber reported.
I have to mention that at this time we were new home buyers in Bethel and hadn't hooked up our cable or satellite yet, so we were at the mercy of NPR.
We sat glued to the radio - like my parents and grandparents before me listening to radio as war was being waged. This time - it was on our soil though.
"Did he say 'The World Trade Center'??? Are they fighter jets? Dropping bombs?"
I thought who would even think of attacking the U.S.?
"The tower is collapsing!!"
"Did he say 'The World Trade Center'?" I asked.
"That's where Erika works!" (My 1st cousin - on my dad's side).
I tried to call to Virginia to my Uncles house. The lines were completely full - and calls couldn't go through.
I went to my dad's house - he wasn't awake yet - we turned on the television; it was worse than I could imagine in my head.
"That's where Erika works." my dad said.
"The lines are down - there's no way we can get a hold of Uncle Bill." I told him. We tried anyway.
I went home. It was four hours afterward that I finally got to talk to my aunt.
"Aunt Arlene? It's Bob."
"Erika's fine! She was supposed to fly to San Fransisco this morning. She didn't go - she's fine!"
The world hasn't been the same since. I'm grateful that my cousin averted death twice that day. She lost many friends and co-workers though and this time of year is difficult. My thoughts, prayers and tears go out to the families today that weren't as lucky as mine.
My gratitude and reverence goes to those brave souls who went into the burning buildings and didn't come back out. My gratitude and reverence goes out to those brave souls who are going to foreign shores today to protect our country. Especially to the recent three families of our soldiers who were stationed in Alaska before going to Afghanistan.
We live in such a blessed time and blessed country. I pray that our soldiers will return home safely soon and that their families will be comforted during this time of service.