It's Always 9:11 Somewhere...
When I saw this sky last night, it reminded me so much of the sky the night of 9/11/2001 as I passed over the Tappan Zee Bridge and glanced in horror down the Hudson River towards the gaping hole in the sky where the Towers had stood that morning. Except that night the sky glowed red not with God's glory, but with the blood red glow of the flames that burned at Ground Zero... and the bright patches of the horizon were the billows and clouds not of Nature and beauty, but the klieg-lit smoke and dust of death and destruction wrought by evil, soulless, barbaric people who hate their God rather than love Him. It is the only conclusion in the face of the murder of innocents based solely on the words of a man... on the words of men in the name of the Almighty.
As is the case of most Americans, today we will speak of "where were you..." and our recollections of that day, of the emotions, of what we see in retrospect.
I certainly remember the sights... but I am most struck by the sounds of that day... the crying and sobbing... the gasps... the cursing... the anger... the disbelief. As my twin said, "I must have said a bajillion times that day, 'I can't believe this is happening... I can't believe this is happening.' " Mostly I recall the silence.
Within my immediate family, both my husband, a retired Navy officer, and the oldest son who was (and is) in the Navy, the fact that America had been attacked was a "Holy Shit" moment. The emotion in J's voice so clear when he said that we were now at war and the job of defending the country was no longer simply a slogan or idle words in an oath. The husband bewailing and regretting that he had retired from active service...
For the middle son, he thought about returning to military service; for the youngest, it solidified a lifelong desire to serve. I know that Noah and we could never have imagined on that day just where that would lead us all.
Without fail, every one of my family members uses the same words to describe that day: surreal... overwhelming... unbelievable. Me, too. But there was something else that was born that day for each of us: a commitment to be certain that we never suffer again as we did that day... To be vigilant against and united in the crushing defeat of terrorism and extremism everywhere.
As for me, the lasting idiosyncrasy of that day is this: every time I see a clock that has :11 at the end -- regardless of the hour, I say "It's always 9:11 somewhere"... followed at some point by, "and please, Lord, keep all our Guys safe... and if You can, please let them get some more of those f**kers today."