This entire weekend I have had a lump in the back of my throat as we remember the events of that day 10 years ago . . .
I really can't believe that it has already been 10 years!
On 9/11/01, it seemed like time stood still.
I know that everyone can remember exactly where they were, what they were doing, who they were with
and how they felt
when they heard about the Towers being hit, the plane going down in Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon being crashed into.
I remember that I was a senior in high school and I had just walked into my first class of the day (with the lovely Mrs. Andersen!). She had her TV on and I arrived just in time to see the plane hit the second tower. And shortly after, the TV station switched over to the scene at the Pentagon and my world completely stopped.
You see, my dad was in Washington DC on 9/11/01.
He had a meeting at the Pentagon.
The very same Pentagon that was burning on TV right before my eyes.
I was never one to ditch class (okay, maybe once or twice), but I remember I turned around, ran out of class, and ran to my car. I was too shocked to cry . . . I couldn't really grasp what was happening. I know that I uttered a lot of prayers to heaven, asking that my dad would be okay.
I got home and found my mom watching everything unfold on the TV. I don't remember if my dad had a cell phone or not, but I just remember that we couldn't get a hold of him.
And the waiting game began . . .
A couple of hours later (which felt like an eternity later!), my mom received a phone call from him. He was safe; his meeting had been scheduled for the afternoon and he had been in his hotel room when the Pentagon was hit. We were so relieved and grateful.
But there were so many who did not receive the same news as us . . . and my heart broke (and still breaks) for them.
In the hours, days, and weeks following those terrible attacks, I remember feeling so much pride in my country. I had always been grateful to live in this wonderful, free country, but it wasn't until 9/11 that I realized how incredibly proud I was to be an American.
I was so proud of the everyday people who bravely stepped up and became heroes by risking their lives to search for people; to care for those who had been hurt; to provide comfort for those who were sad.
I was so proud of the way that suddenly everyone became friends. Little differences didn't matter- we were united. It was an amazing feeling.
I was so proud of the way that everyone expressed their pride in this great country. You would see hats, T-shirts, bumper stickers, signs, and the beautiful American flag everywhere you went. It was incredible!
I am sad that marvelous feeling of unity has faded over the years, but it seems that when the anniversary of 9/11 rolls around, it stirs those feelings inside of me once more.
I will never forget.
I am so incredibly grateful for all those people who work so hard to keep us free- the men and women who serve this country everyday and their amazing families who sacrifice so much.
I will forever be thankful!
Today my 4 year old daughter asked why we were displaying our American flag outside. I simply told her that it was to help us remember how blessed we are to live in this country. I know that someday I will tell her about what really happened on this day. I will have to try and explain to her why bad things happen to good people; and why those bad people made the choices they did. But more importantly, I want to focus on all the good that came out of that terrible day. Tell her about the heroes on Flight 93 who sacrificed EVERYTHING to save others' lives. Tell her about the brave firefighters, police officers, and volunteers who selflessly searched for lost loved ones; many sacrificing their lives in the process. Tell her about the unity and pride we had as a nation and our resolve to rebuild even stronger.
They may have knocked down our towers, but they will never knock down our proud American spirit.
And I hope that someday she will understand what this day represents.
Here is a yummy recipe that I made for this weekend- God Bless America!
Red, White, and Blue Cookies
From See Jane in the Kitchen
1 stick butter, soft
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried blueberriesCombine butter and sugars and mix for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in white chocolate, cranberries and blueberries. If time permits, allow cookie dough to sit covered in the fridge for a few hours. Scoop onto parchment lined or greased cookie sheet and sprinkle very, very lightly with kosher salt.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
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