Today’s scheduled post – Crock Pot Spaghetti Family Style – has been postponed. There was something oddly “wrong” about posting a family style recipe and brushing aside the significance of this day. Fifteen years – that’s a long time, and our country has yet to fully heal. The wounds are deep. For some anger is even deeper. Something happens when an entire nation drops to their knees and weeps, forever strip of our sense of innocence.
There are national events that happen and you are forever changed as a person – be it for the better or worse, something inside you is changes. Anyone alive today can tell you exactly where they were and how the news of Pearl Harbor hit them. I can recall the death of JFK; and in clear detail September 11, 2001.
Hubby was getting ready to leave for work. I was getting ready for my day – take Kiddo to school, followed by a routine Doctor’s appointment, the lunch with friends. The phone rang – it was our daughter. Did we have the television on? No. Turn it on. What channel? Any channel. We are under attack. What? I hung up and turned on the TV, sure she was exaggerating. She tends to become dramatic at times. Oh my God! The remote tumbled from my hand, crashing on the tile floor of our bedroom. Hubby heard the commotion and came to see – silently he picked up the remote, never taking his eyes off the television set. He joined me and we sat together on the edge of the bed, unable to speak.
Two more phone calls – the first to my Dad. Had he spoken to his brother? My cousin’s son worked at the Pentagon. No. My uncle had not been able to get through to reach his daughter in Washington. (It turned out Brian’s office, one of those hit, had been recently painted and he had yet to move back to his office – a move that was scheduled a few days later). The second call was to our good friend, a Las Vegas transplant from Buffalo, New York. His mother flying in for a visit. Whenever his mother came to visit, we would go to Mass together and pretend it was something we did every Sunday. Our friend did not want his mother (a nice Italian lady with dreams of her son becoming a Priest one day) to know that not only did he marry a girl outside the faith, he no longer attended Mass. All our friend could tell us was that his elderly mother was in the air somewhere between Buffalo and Las Vegas. (She was grounded, and eventually put on a bus to reach her final destination). I wanted to make a few more calls, to friends in New York, but I knew such attempts would be futile at this point.
Business out-of-the-way, it was time to let emotions take over. My heart ached so badly, a pain so deep that I collapsed under the weight of it. I felt God was weeping and there was nothing I could do to comfort my Lord. This horrific thing had been carried out in His name – can you imagine how much that hurt? His children so misguided; they were slaughtering one another in record numbers in His name. Even now, fifteen years later, I weep whenever I think about how much we hurt our Creator on September 11, 2001.
I kept Kiddo home from school, needing to feel him close to me. After my doctor’s appointment, Kiddo and I went down to the Strip – to the New York-New York Hotel. Don’t ask me why, we just did. I had to get away from the images on the television. I had the need to go where people might gather. We weren’t alone. Already flowers lined the street in front of the hotel. From the fence hung shirts and notes and ribbons. The T-shirts were placed there by firefighters and police officers on vacation in Las Vegas, some of them from New York. These firefighters and officers found themselves unable to get home yet needed to show their support for their brothers and sisters in the line of duty in New York. Strangers hugged one another, silently placing objects along the fence and openly weeping. By late afternoon the crowds that gathered were so great, traffic actually stopped on the strip and had to be detoured around the hotel.
They say churches and places of worship saw attendance in record numbers immediately after. People were seeking answers and longing for comfort. Eventually those that did not normally attend a place of worship returned to their normal routines. That too is sad.
I am sure there will be plenty of footage today of the death and the destruction. The scab will be picked on once again. I want to take a moment of silence and then to pray.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hollowed by thy name . . .