September 11, 2011

Where were you?

My son turned 8 months old on 9/11/2001. His dad had only been out of the military a few months. We’d just moved back from Germany. We built a new home in Rockwall County and been there only two months.

I went to work that day. With a long time friend and colleague I was taking my first group of students from the LCDC Training School (now called Institute of Chemical Dependency Studies) on a ROPES course. As we were driving down the road I received a phone call from my son’s dad. He told me what was happening.

I shared the information with everyone in the van. Everyone started making phone calls. I called a friend still working on the military base in Germany. Then I called a friend who lived in Brooklyn, New York, though that call would not go through.

I remember having a great deal of fear and so many questions. The students decided to continue on with the ROPES course that day, as there was little we could do from Dallas, Texas. After we finished we stopped in a store with a grill and got some food. We ate there while we watched the first television broadcasts we’d seen all day.

I felt fear about my son’s dad having just gotten out of the military. I was afraid they would call him back. He would have loved being able to go back but I was worried about our sweet little 8-month old boy being without him.

I felt distress about the world my son would be raised in. I knew in my heart America would never be the same after 9/11/2001.

In the days that followed I felt a great deal of pride in America and its people. Strangers were coming together because silently we all seemed to know it was necessary. I remember wondering, and even hearing on television, discussions about when the right time to go back to doing things we used to do would be.

I sensed we never really would go back to the way it once was. When Homeland Security was developed and everyday since I have never once been angry for being asked to remove my shoes or allow my bags to be examined at the airport. I do get frustrated when people are upset about this process. I have visited countries that do much more search in an airport and never even ask permission. I understood the mandatory change.

Life hasn’t been the same. It likely never will.

I value my freedom. I support our troops and I thank God everyday that I am a citizen of the best country on earth. I won’t ever forget that day. I wrote my son a letter that day hoping to capture what life was like before. One day maybe he will understand its significance.

God Bless America.

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