I was too young to really remember much about President Kennedy's assassination in 1963, but those older than I am can likely tell you where they were when they heard the news. I do, however, remember very distinctly when I first heard the news about what happened here in the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
I was working at the front desk at our dental office when co-worker Dianna came up and said, "Turn on the TV. Allen [her husband] said a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York." We turned on the little 13-inch set and we watched in horror as the second plane crashed into a second building.
The events of that day have affected so many lives in so many ways, apart from those killed directly in the plane crashes.
In September 2006, Mom and I made a trip to Winterthur, Delaware, for GardenFair. We took US 30 across Pennsylvania and as we passed by Shanksville, we saw a simple sign that said, "Flight 93 Memorial." We knew we had to stop there on our way home.
Neither of us knew what to expect when we got there, but what took both of us by surprise was the flood of emotion that came over us and moved us to tears. One moment we were getting out of the car and looking out over the rolling countryside to the crash site. The next, we were reading the mementos left by other visitors in great numbers as we wiped the tears from our faces.
We truly felt like we were on hallowed ground.
Eight years have passed since those terrorist attacks and the rage felt by so many has dimmed a bit. The same time that is supposed to help heal the hurt has also caused those not directly affected by loss of a friend or loved one to forget the intense emotions felt at that time.
Let's not forget that the war on terrorism goes on and that many deliberately put themselves in danger every day in an effort to keep us safe from those who wish us harm. To those who have served, are serving, and will serve in our military - THANK YOU.