Technically, I should have discussed this Sunday, but life has been a leeetle crazy around here (more on that later).
Anyway, as you well know, Sunday was the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I have written before about where I was on the day the attacks occurred. For those of you who want just a quick recap: I was 16 years old, in eleventh grade, at school.
Classes stopped, and we turned on the tv in classrooms to see what was happening after the first tower was hit. The second one being struck was so shocking. And then there were flights going down because of heroic passengers, flights attacking the Pentagon, etc.
It was horrific. I remember thinking, “This is like in a movie. Only it’s not a movie. People are really dying. This is really happening. How can this be happening??” I knew no one who was affected. I was mute with the sheer terror of it, and fighting tears that I felt my classmates would find silly because I hadn’t lost anyone I knew in the attacks.
Fast forward ten years. I’m twenty-six, married, with a baby on the way. I found myself sitting poolside with twenty girls from my Transit group as we gathered for a back-to-school party. Here Janet and I are with 17 of them:
We talked about school, clothes, what color I should have streaked in my hair next, our church’s new campus opening next month, photos, videos, food, finding out my baby’s gender the next day and promising to text them all, and other things.
Janet and I told them to be careful doing cheerleading stunts in the pool, “move closer to the middle!” and “I can’t afford your hospital bills, so cut it out!”
We laughed. Someone fishtail braided my hair. I took videos of them jumping into the pool as a group. We had fun.
And in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the significance of the day. I kept thinking that these girls were just toddlers when the attacks took place. They had no memory of it. This was just another fun day for a pool party after church.
I wondered if it would bother me. But it didn’t.
It encouraged me. These sweet girls are living proof that we can rebound from tragedy. That while those of us who remember will never forget what happened, it doesn’t mean we can’t rebuild and be happy. It doesn’t have to define the next generation.
I am astounded that for their entire living memories, their country has been at war over something they can’t remember experiencing. But I also think- this is what those brave service men and women fought to protect- The innocent.
I learn so much from spending time with these precious girls. They don’t remember an event I will never forget, and they don’t even know how much hope that brings me.
How did you spend the 10th anniversary of 9/11?