Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

Where I was when I got the news isn't that interesting a story.  Yes, I have asked people that question and answered it.  But that was me bonding with other people and I do not think it as important as another aspect about it, which is that it changed me just as being an adult child of an alcoholic changed me.

While I never thought America was an impregnable fortress, I was never before fearful in my own home.  And that day I was.  I don't live anywhere near a high-value target, but before they grounded the planes, there was no telling how many crews they had and where they were headed.  And it was reasonable that this was a disorienting strike to throw us off from an invading force.

My parents grew up with war, a war that changed their daily life.  But while we had Viet Nam and the Gulf War in my lifetime, I never experienced anything like that in mine.  Until that day.

The experience changed me.  I still cringe when planes fly overhead (and I hate that the terrorists even have that small victory).  My views of the world at large have hardened.  But more importantly on a personal level, I had a deep and lasting reminder of the capriciousness and tenuousness of life, more than when my cousin drowned, more than when my brother died in a construction accident.

I don't take a minute for granted and while I don't live my life as if there will not be a tomorrow, I do not act as if tomorrow is a given.


I watched some of the coverage this morning from New York City and Washington and at one point became teary.  But I recovered by listening to "The Angry American", a reminder of our national character, that if you mess with us, you'll get a boot in your backside.  It's the American way.  All brought to you courtesy of the red, white, and blue.

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