Ten years ago today, we lived outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Christian was almost five and Coleman was one and it was a perfectly normal day. It was a little past eight in the morning, and I was getting ready to take Christian to preschool. Coleman was still asleep in his crib and The Today Show was on in the background while I was making the bed. Suddenly, there was breaking news that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Towers. I remember Matt Lauer talking to a caller who witnessed it and saying that it was a small plane that hit the building. The caller said no, that it was a big jet, a 747. The screen showed the smoke coming out of the building and I stopped to watch and listen to the news report. Then live on the air, while I watched, another jet flew into the other tower. It was UNBELIEVABLE. How can your brain even process a sight like that?
I called Jim on the phone at work and told him another plane had hit the second tower. The words terrorism and al queda were already being thrown around. I was numb. Didn't know what was going to happen.
It was time to take Christian to school. I listened to the news reports on the radio and Christian and Coleman chattering in the back seat on the short drive to the preschool. I debated turning around and going home instead of leaving my preschooler at school. In the drop off line, there were hushed whispers and questions.
I went home and parked myself in front of the television. It was horrifying. And then the towers fell. And the world changed. Ten years ago. Sometimes if feels forever ago. And sometimes it seems so recent. My children have no memories of life before the fight against terrorism, the war in Afghanistan and the search for Osama bin Laden.
Today I am torn - sit and watch the news coverage and reflect on the sadness of that day ten years ago or love on my children and enjoy the freedoms that we as Americans still take for granted. I imagine there will be some of both.