Friday, September 10, 2010

Remembering Where I Was

There are defining moments in people's lives in which a tragedy takes place and forever burns in our memories the time and place we heard the news.  Elvis dying, Reagan getting shot, the Challenger...I remember where I was and what I was doing with each event.  But nothing compares to the morning of 9/11.  My husband, my kids and I were in Malaysia, preparing to fly back to Thailand the next morning.  It was the evening there.  My husband called me, alarmed, telling me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  Immediately we were all watching the television, trying to grasp what had just happened.  Of course you know the rest...that tragic day, which was amazingly brilliant and blue, played out as the nation literally stood still.  Flights were stopped, televisions all over the nation were playing and people were glued.  We knew it was bad, but being the Americans we are, we stood by and watched hoping for that one miracle rescue, or the view of loved ones being reunited.  Those stories came, and we clung to the hope they provided.

For us, we had to stay in Malaysia for three more days.  Seems the twin towers in Kuala Lampur were also threatened.  No flying for us. 

The only thing that compares in any way to this event is the 2006 tsunami in Thailand.  Three entire families, good friends, were there.  We watched video footage of Phi Phi island, which was totally wiped out, hoping to get a glimpse.  Miraculously, all three families were safe.  But in the meantime we were stricken with grief as we watched the human suffering mount.

9/11 is different, though, in that it was caused with human hands.  I don't understand how any religion can try to justify the destruction of innocent human lives the way Islam has.  I'm grateful for the prevention of any future attacks.  I wonder if our country knows how blessed we are?

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