It is hard for me to believe that ten years have passed so quickly. So many events have happened since that day which have altered my life in some way but none have been quite as monumental as the attacks on September 11, 2001. Ian was just 10 months old and I had discovered only 4 days earlier that I was pregnant with Evan. It was a very significant time in our lives in all the good ways....with this horrible day sandwiched in between.
Today I had the opportunity to go to Ian's school to watch an assembly about that day. It was very moving and sadly took an individual teacher setting it up because the administration didn't think it was necessary. And even worse, only the classes in Ian's ELP (gifted & talented) program were allowed to attend. The rest of the children in the school were kept in class. Evan's school didn't even mention it! After school I discussed the circumstances of that day with my 2 oldest children. They have seen the images. They have heard some of the stories. They wanted to know what I was doing and how I felt about it all, so I shared that with them. The fear, the uncertainty, the desire to do something about it. All of those feelings that caused me to feel helpless at the same time.
I remember the very first thing I wanted to do was go home to my family. But within seconds of that another desire; the desire to drive as fast as I could to the Air National Guard base so that I could join my old unit and do something. I had only been out of the military for 10 months and I felt so left out in that moment. Left out of being able to do something to help. Anything. It shook me a little because I had been so ready to leave the military - and here I was wishing I was still in. We also discussed the Winter Olympics which were held in Salt Lake City that following January or February. I remember distinctly asking Denver if we couldn't just go on vacation...leave the state completely as there was talk of another attack during these Olympic games. The fear was still very fresh.
The entire experience was surreal and to this day still rattles me at my core. Such a tremendous loss. I hope that schools will continue to teach about the attacks. As depressing as the subject may be, it is absolutely an important part of United States history and has changed the course of many aspects of our lives in this country... forever.
I want to share this poem that Ian wrote on a card for the Utah division of Urban Search & Rescue who assisted in the recovery process at Ground Zero. One of their members came and talked to the kids today. It was tough...he had a hard time talking without getting choked up. His life was forever altered too and I pretty much just wanted to give the guy a gigantic hug after he was through. The kids all made thank you cards and posters for them....