A different September 11
We all know the significance of 9-11. How could we forget that horrific Tuesday ten years ago that forever changed the world? We won’t forget. We shouldn’t forget, ever.
Living on the West Coast, the news came early. My kids were 7 and 9. They weren’t awake yet. I was just getting ready to head out the door to work when the phone rang. The Caller ID indicated it was my in-laws. “Strange,” I thought, “Why would they be calling this early?” I picked up the phone and on the other end was my father-in-law. He never called. It was always the mother of Mrs. UA who did the calling. There was no warm greeting as I would have expected, and the tone in my father-in-law’s voice had a ring of distress to it:
“Are you watching the news?” he asked.
My answer was no.
“Turn on the television,” he said. Then he hung up.
I was late to work that day. When I arrived, not much work got done. Before the day was done, the skies were empty of air traffic. It caused an eery silence that I can still hear today.
For my dad, it was a lousy way to celebrate his 70th birthday. We had planned a big party for him a few days later, and while the plans were not canceled, the dark cloud of 9-11-2001 loomed over the festivities. Every year since then, my dad’s birthday is shrouded by the anniversary of the date that war was waged on American soil by an enemy without a country.
Without taking anything away from the fallen heros who gave their lives on that infamous day and to those who have died every day since then as the battle has continued, I want to note that there is another September 11…a day that had special significance long before 9-11. A day that, even with the unfortunate association, is a day worth celebrating.
Happy 80th, Dad. And God bless America.