Every time I think of September 11th, which actually does cross my mind pretty often, strange enough, I think of the Alan Jackson song...
"Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day"
I was in the hallway between classes in the 8th grade at Cabot Junior High North. I remember a friend yelled it out at me as I was passing him..
"Hey Jen... did you hear what happened in New York?"
I was very young, and didn't understand the implications that surrounded that fateful day, but I do remember watching, stunned, in English class as the second plane ran into the tower.
I was young, but not naive enough to ignore what this meant for my family. You see... my dad is a retired Colonel in the Air Force, a pilot to be exact. At the time of September 11th, he was still active duty, leading a large squadron of men at the Little Rock Air Force Base. As soon as the planes hit the towers, my dad was called in on High Alert. My family, as well as the rest of the world, set on pins and needles that night waiting for what the next move would be. Waiting to know whether or not my Dad would leave immediately to go fight in, another, yet highly necessary war.
He didn't get called out that night... but later, so many young men did, and still continue. To fight for our freedom, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
Today as I was watching the News coverage of the 9-11 dedication ceremony, my heart broke for all the families whose lives were torn apart when those planes hit the towers. 10 years has passed, yet I know in their hearts not a day goes by that they don't remember their loved ones. I'm so thankful for our military, emergency personnel, and government officials who put their lives on the line on a daily basis for our freedom.
I never take for granted the fact that I was born in a country where I feel safe every day.
Yesterday, as a perfect stranger thanked my dad for his service, I was reminded of all that is good and right in our country, and my heart swelled with pride for my dad's selfless act of service.
You tell me all the time how proud you are of me and all my accomplishments, yet I sometimes fail to tell you how proud I am of you and Mom and for sacrificing having the "typical" family life in order to serve our country. I know that we will never truly understand the sacrifices you made to serve, nor will you ever earn your full reward on Earth, but I'm so thankful to have you for a Dad. I TRULY have the best parents in the world.
I love yall...