Within Me Without Me

Monday, September 11, 2006

september 11

five years ago today, while i was on my way to work, driving up i-45, i was listening to dean and rog on 93.7, and they broke in to say that the world trade center towers had been hit by a plane. they left off the broadcast, and turned the station over to the news station. i listened to the confused and scattered reports coming in, at first just mildly curious as to what "accident" had occurred in new york. then they started talking about intentional terrorist activity, and that's when it got scary. shortl after i started listening, the second tower had been hit, and the idean that it was an attack in progress was chilling. as i drove in, i passed the tall buildings of downtown houston, and felt myself looking up in the sky wondering of they were on the way here, too. i sped to work. by the time i got there a little after 8 am, everyone there had radios or tv's on in their offices, and we all were glued. i called jerry to see if he was watching. as we watched and wondered what the hell was going on, i remember just feeling sick. after the towers fell, i went to my office and cried. we stayed at work that day - (our gracious county administration told us that we could go home if we had vacation or comp time to use for it, and if we had proper approval from our administrators) and all day the phones were ringing off the hook. at that time i was working in the placement division - this is where juvenile who have been to court have been removed from their homes for a period of time and placed in a facility for counseling/rehab/behavioral modification. all these parents here in houston texas wanted their kids released from placement and brought home due to the happenings in new york city. so i spent the day explaining to parents why their adjudicated kids would not be released to them. a hard thing to do, especially when none of us were sure that there weren't planes on the way to houston to do the same thing! i guess back then i wasn't a mother, so it seemed more silly to me. but now i understand that no matter what, if there is evil about, and you can't be there to protect your kids from it, you'll freak the hell out.

anyway, i remember watching the coverage all day and night. when i went to bed, i had a dream that my brother and sisters and all their families and i were at my mom's house all hiding out, and terrorists had surrounded the neighborhood and were going into each house and killing everyone inside. we were all behind couches and in the attic and hiding wherever we could, and trying to figure out how we were going to defend ourselves. and i remember getting up for work the next morning and the world just felt different. i knew that life had to go on and things weren't going to change much for me here in houston, but the fact that we had been attacked, that it could have been any one, any city, any time, made it different. like so many, i felt a surge of love for my country, and anger and bewilderment for those who hated and wanted to hurt us.

in the years after, the event, in my opinion, has become so politicized, and so many fingers have been pointed for so many issues surrounding 9/11, that it's hard to remembers sometimes the important facts. 3,000 americans died at the hands of islamofacists who hate america. those islamofacists have continued to exist and elude punishment from the world for their actions. the blame does not lie on the president, the fbi, the cia, any other government agency. the blame lies with the terorists. if i hear one more news story about "what could have been done" i will throw up.

here's another thing that makes me mad about this whole situation - the people who died left families without fathers and mothers. this is sad. however, i don't think that those who lost family members need to be compensated hundreds of thousands of dollars because their loved one died in that attack. the deaths are unfortunate, tragic, and horrific because of the context of them. but those lives aren't worth more that those of other mothers and fathers who die in other circumstances every day. the govenment (or in other words, me and my tax-paying family) need not be compelled to subsidize the lives of the victims' families simply because of the circumstances of the victims' death.

sorry to be negative about this issue, but all in all, the day has mixed emotions for me. sadness and sorrow for the people who died in such a scary way. sympathy for their families. anger for the perpetrators. annoyance at the politicians who use the tragedy as a vehicle to bash others and forward thier own agendas and careers. i wish we could feel as united as a country as we did in the weeks following the attack. i wish we all still ended our prayers with "God bless america" and all still supported our armed forces. i will continue to pray that our leaders have God's guidance in their decisions, and i ask that you all do the same.


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