As I contemplated what to write about on this blog today, I was a bit conflicted at first. I really wanted to write my thoughts and feelings about what happened on this tragic day 10 years ago, but then I thought, "This is a CMT blog....my post needs to be about CMT." It was then that I realized that in a small way, the two actually connected.
I will always remember where I was on the morning of September 11, 2001. I was on my way to Primary Children's Medical Center to have the screws and plates removed from my hip, which had been reconstructed the previous year. The funny thing about it, to me at least, is that I originally was not scheduled to have surgery on that day. I had bumped up the surgery because the screws were causing me a lot of pain.
So, I remember being in the car with my mom, listening to the radio, when suddenly the music was interrupted by reports that the a plane had crashed into the first tower. Nobody knew at the time what had caused that to happen, and I remember feeling shocked, and wondering how someone could "accidentally hit something that large".
We reached the hospital before the second plane had hit, and I got sent to my surgeon's office for final x-rays before the surgery. The nurse took my x-rays, and then I sat in the waiting room waiting for the copies to take down to the operating room with me. Of course, the tv channel was turned to a news channel, and that's when I saw that the second tower had been hit. I remember a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, knowing that this was no accident. As I sat there wondering who could have done this and why, I watched both towers crumble to the ground. The whole hospital went silent. Nobody said anything, and it seemed like nobody even dared breathe. We had just witnessed one of the most horrifying things we would ever see in our lives.
Unfortunately, I had to rush downstairs for my surgery, and left the television and the news behind. My surgery didn't take too long, and I was in the recovery room about two hours later, slurping on a grape slushee. Once I was coherent, I turned to the television again. I had only been "out" for hours, but it felt like a lifetime of things had happened during that time. The footage on the news was terrifying. The reports of terrorists made my skin crawl.
There was already talk of military reaction, of bombing whoever did this to us, of going to war and taking revenge. I remember being worried for a good friend who was in the Marine Corps. He had just been out to visit a couple weeks earlier, and was on active duty. I couldn't get out of that hospital and home fast enough to call and get word from him. We finally arrived home early in the afternoon, and as I was hobbling into the house on my crutches, he called. I felt immense relief hearing from him, and felt the knot in my stomach loosen every so slightly.
I planted myself on the couch in our basement, and since I had been told to take it really easy by my doctor for the next few days, on the couch is pretty much where I stayed. I watched all the news reports, which continued for days. When my friends were done with work or school every day, they would come over to my house and join me. I think that probably helped me the most. I remember crying together over what we were seeing, and talking about how horrible this all was. It was an interesting realization to us that this was our "Pearl Harbor". This was a day that would be talked about and written in the history books, and we were there to witness it all.
The one thing that stands out in my mind the most, is watching a tribute in Nashville by a bunch of country music artists. (Yes, I have CMT, AND I watch CMT. LOL) I very vividly remember Martina McBride taking the stage, and without any accompaniment, singing the chorus to her hit song "Independence Day". It was touching and emotional, and so poignant.
"Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing,
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning.
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong.
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay,
It's Independence Day."
Some people may have forgotten over the past ten years what happened that day. How it felt to see our homeland under fire, and know that so many lives were lost due to a senseless act. I pray for those who lost their loved ones on that day, as well as for those lost in our continuing fight for freedom. I am grateful for them, and I will never forget.