I was wearing an olive-green shirt, buttoned down. Fall leaves embroidered across the front. My khaki pants were two sizes smaller than the ones I wear now. I walked back from the break room carrying my decaf coffee. My stomach was a bit queasy as I was only a few weeks pregnant with our second child. I found my co-workers gathered around a computer screen ... terrorists, bombing, planes. I leaned in and felt ill, confused at the pictures. Someone said "it's not an accident, it's terrorists." Again, I was confused. Terrorists could not get into America. Those things didn't happen in our country. Two women began arguing over the possibilities. I went to my desk and pulled up the news site. No one worked much that day.
Looking at picture after picture of destruction, I became ill. Just hours after the attacks, it was clear ... my co-worker had been right, it was no accident. Terrorists had come to our homeland. I laid a hand to my middle. What kind of world waited for my child?
For days, I sat on my couch watching the news. My husband and oldest boy sat with me. We ate meals in front of that tv, stayed up late to watch more and spent weekends watching Prime Time and 20/20. The terrorists were winning a battle they most likely didn't even realize. They began to demolish my safe haven.
Water-cooler talk went from kids, school, ballgames and movies to terrorists and fear. The terrorists were winning. They stole our laughter.
Ballgames went a little longer as we played the American anthem and bowed our heads in a moment of silence. The moment of silence lasted well into game time. The terrorists were winning, they stole our cheers.
Life changed for every American on that cool September morning. Whether we lost loved ones in the towers or prayed for those who did, life changed. I did not have a loved one in the towers. I knew no one lost in those moments.
If I had lost someone dear that day, I would not want today marked by the terrorists. I would not want to see their pictures, hear their voices or their names. In my opinion, that gives them a victory and glory ... something they do not deserve. For me, I am spending today in gratitude of the lives lost and sacrificed. I will be thinking about the firefighters, police officers, volunteers and innocent victims.
To those who lost their family or friends on 9-11, I wish I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with you. I'd like to see pictures of the people you are missing today. I'd like to hear about their lives and the memories you are holding dear on this historical day.
If you have thoughts, feelings or stories to share, I ask that you leave those in the comments section. I'm offering that area of my blog for you to pay tribute to your family and friends.
The question remains, did the terrorists win? No, they did not. They showed us our brotherhood, faith and devotion to America. The moments spent in front of the television were moments devoted to those loved and lost. Water cooler talk was devoted to the memory of those held dear and perhaps some felt just as I did ... grateful no one I loved was lost that day and guilt for that same fact. The American anthem played before each ballgame and the moment of silence ... those were a reminder of our bravery and devotion.
As you watch the news today, remember the lives given by our brother and sister Americans.Today, I am grateful to them ... because of them I spend more time enjoying my boys, I spend more time reading my bible and much time loving my country.
John 15:13 "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."