Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2001

Today is a solemn and sad day in American history and one that will never be forgotten for those of us that experienced that awful day.

Where were you on 9/11/01?

I can remember exactly where I was. My son was a little over 2 years old and I was home with him on that day. Normally, my son stayed with his grandparents (my parents), but they were in Greece on this day. I had my toddler in his high-chair and I was feeding him breakfast. I was watching the Today show in the living room and was listening to Katie Couric and Matt Lauer as I always did. The news came abruptly and inexplicably. I was glued to the television until after midnight that day never leaving the house. In my west-side neighborhood, the flags starting appearing on every porch and stoop and by the end of the next day, I think every single person in the neighborhood had out a flag or some other symbol of our patriotism displayed outside their home.

I had trouble calling overseas to talk to my parents. After a day, I finally got through to them in Athens and they were, obviously, stunned. They gave me first-hand accounts of how the Greeks were reacting and what the mood was in Europe. We were international victims and we had the sympathy and prayers of the whole world. It was an interesting and sad time.

Since 9/11/01, some say that this day has been politicized. They allege that President Bush and others used 9/11 to further certain political aims. I couldn't disagree more. President Bush's presidency was transformed only 8+ months into his administration. The President acted decisively and with strength. It was the right thing to do to protect Americans.

Many have ignored the history of 9/11 and President Bush's role. Do you remember the presidential campaign of 2000? President Bush ran on a platform of education, compassionate conservatism, anti-nation building, tax cuts, and energy reform. President Bush was not a hawk bent on invading Iraq or any other country. The 9/11 murders were planned and financed during the 8 years that President Clinton was in the White House. Many people have revised history and have made President Bush the poster-boy for America haters. The America haters existed long before he became President and they planned a massive attack on our country long before he showed up. President Bush was left to react. And react he did. Our country is safer today because he did react.

But today is not a day for political debate. It is a day to remember the thousands of innocent men, women, children, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers, who lost their lives doing nothing out of their ordinary routine. It is a sad day.

Today, I have Dad-duty again. My son, now 10, has a bug that has him laid out with a high fever. No, I don't think it's H1N1. But the irony of being home caring for him today isn't lost on me. We'll talk about 9/11 today because he is at the age where things are starting to make sense and he can be thoughtful about what is happening in the world. It will be the job of his generation to help Americans remember today so that history never repeats itself.

Take a minute to remember those we lost.

Have a great weekend.