What do you think first when you hear 9/11?

Today as my husband and I were reflecting  back to 9/11 – he asked me What is the first thing you think of when you hear someone say 9/11?.   No, I don’t think of the war on Terrorism,  I don’t think about the images in my head of the Twin Towers collapsing, nor do I think about the four airplanes that crashed that day – not first that is. The first thing that I think of are the families, especially the children.

I remember a few months after 9/11 walking into Target and seeing a picture of 16 moms who had given birth to babies who lost their husbands on 9/11. These babies would never meet their daddies, babies who are now nearly ten years old and have only heard stories of 9/11 and who their daddy was. They have never had a daddy to teach them to ride a bike, throw a baseball or kiss them good night.  I think about the ten year old children who are now twenty possibly in the middle of their college days and for the last ten years there was a mom or dad missing in their life who didn’t watch them shoot the winning goal at their soccer game, who did not stand and cheer as they crossed their high school graduation stage, who were not there to walk through the teen years of the first heart break, the college decisions or to wipe the tears they have shed.  I think about the the fifteen year olds who lost a parent and are now twenty five and may be in the middle of planning for a wedding without a mom to plan this big day or a dad to walk them down the isle or maybe they are married and about to have their first baby and there is a grandparent who won’t get to hold this new baby. I think about the many tears shed over loss in so many families – the lives that were lost on 9/11 or on the battle field in the days that have followed 9/11.  Maybe it’s because I am a mom and the thought of myself or my husband not being here the last ten years of my five children’s lives is a devastating thought for me, maybe it’s because my nephew was actually born that morning as the Twin Towers went down and to think what life would be like for him to have been without his dad the last 10 years, maybe its the thought that I had my fifth child six weeks after 9/11 and to think what it would have been like going to the hospital alone with out my husband- the thought of this journey of loss that none of us would ever choose to be on is reality for so many.

The families who lost loved ones that day or the days after have not only had to face the horrific tragedy our country faced but hey have had to face a daily personal loss in their families. I can only imagine the pain they have faced with each holiday, with each accomplished milestone, with each good and bad day they now have and will face with out them.

Today as I reflect on 9/11 I will continue to think and pray for those who lost a loved one for those who this day is still just as difficult to face as it was 10 years ago.  And today I will remind myself to appreciate and hug those I love as one day can change everything just as 9/11 did for our country and our families.

What do you think first when you hear someone say 9/11?

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