September 11… This date has become a significant point in our history that will remain forever. So much devastation and tragedy unfolded in the matter of hours. Lives were lost, hearts broken, but also the one thing we as Americans hold dearest- our security, was shaken. We were hit blindsided, by a shot in the back from a cowardly group of terrorists. We as Americans were so bad ass and intimidating, that instead of fighting and confronting us head on, they had to hit with a sucker punch in attempts to crumble our society. Much to their dismay, it did the opposite. People around the United States stood tall and proud, cheering on and flying their patriotism stronger than ever before. Now, twelve years later, despite any differences from race, sex, or social class, our citizens are the first to stand for the National Anthem, fly our flag proudly, and flip the finger to those who threaten our freedom.
Our soldiers still deploy and sacrifice the comforts we take for granted to insure there is no repeat of that hellish day. So, as a former Army wife, I want to take a moment to recognize all of those men and women who give so much. There are times they do without sleep, shower, and food. They march on without complain for sometimes years without holding their wives, husbands, mothers and fathers. They miss the birth of their children, and return home to meet their two year old for the first time. Christmases, birthdays, Anniversaries, school plays, first steps and words, deaths, and so much more are spent alone in a foreign place. They feel isolated and deserted, see and do things unimaginable, and yet when they return to home soil they smile.
There is nothing more petrifying than talking to your loved one on the computer and a huge bang sound off just before the screen goes black. As a spouse, you sit and wait, praying and crying that your husband/wife isn’t dead. Those grueling hours pass, but time stands still. Until you get word that the incoming mortar missed, you grieve. You cry. You scream. Then you cry more.
The families live around each phone call and email, waiting until the news comes in that it is time for their soldier to return home. They do not live normal lives. As the hustle and bustle of the world goes on around them, the soldier’s family rotates differently. Wives sit anxiously by the phone not wanting to run to the store or the PTA meeting in fear that one precious phone call will be missed. What if they miss it, and it is the last opportunity to say goodbye? What if it is someone trying to notify them of an injury or incident? Nightmares terrorize every night, while possibilities and ‘what if’s’ torment during the days. The evening news becomes the enemy. Mothers/fathers plaster on a fake smile for the kids and others, when deep down their heart is in shards. Nothing compares to the relief and excitement a simple letter, phone call, or instant message can bring. Nothing compares to seeing the black SUV pull up and the suits get out, coming to notify you that your soldier won’t be coming home. That being said, guess what? Each and every one of them are more than prepared and willing to die for you. They know what the sacrifices are, and still put on their boots and uniform every day. Would you die for a total stranger? One you would never know, never meet, or never know their name?
So this September 11th, I want to thank all of them- The soldiers and their families, the police force and the firemen, the paramedics and all of the volunteers who work for US. I ask that you all take a moment of your day and send a prayer for our troops and their loved ones, and join together not to remember the bad that happened on that day, but remember the good that has came from it. We have united together, and have united with other countries to work against the same evil. Happy September 11th everyone. We are Americans…. Don’t fuck with us!