Our charge is to never forget
It's becoming a theme- J and I get made fun of for our age on Twitter quite often now. And while I'm positive that we're not close to the oldest people that come to this site to interact with fellow Boilers, the average reader keeps getting further South of our ever-increasing age. I guess that's the deal when you have a fan site created to focus on college athletics.
I was a message board this morning when someone brought up what they were doing 12 years ago this morning...and in that person's account, they were in grade school, but of course, the events of the morning are still vivid to them.
9/11 should matter to Americans because of the indiscriminate nature of the attacks. The monstrous men who planned and executed the attacks wanted to kill citizens of this country because they were American. A friend of mine is from Staten Island...he lost two cousins when the towers fell. A few people I know were supposed to be at the WTC that morning for meetings, but had schedule changes during the week leading up to that day. I used to live in the Boston area...I had taken the same Boston to LA flight that was hijacked, a few years prior to 9/11/01 a few years earlier. And my fellow BS founder worked close enough to the attacks that he could see the towers smoking before they fell. This morning, he's at work in Manhattan.
Just under 3,000 people were killed that day, but 311 million were targeted. Whether you realize it or not, the attacks of 9/11/01 are not far removed from any of us as Americans.
I read a few years ago that 9/11 should be regarded as a fault line in America's history. An attack of that scope on American civilians had never occurred before then and will hopefully never be matched. Christian, atheist, Muslim and Jewish lives were all lost that day...janitors and executives were targets of the attack...Some lives were ended while running in fear, others still cut short as they bravely aided those who were trying to escape.
This morning, the sky is a brilliant blue in Indiana...on 9/11/01, it was that way as well...just as it was in NYC. My wife and I watched the events unfold in our apartment and were paralyzed by what we were watching. My Uncle, who lives in NJ, called after the first plane hit asking if I had seen it. He and I went to the top of those towers a few years earlier as tourists...we got off of the phone, figuring it was an awful, tragic accident. Minutes later, he called again, this time sobbing as the second plane had hit and we both realized what was happening.
In the hours and even days following 9/11, I remember simply being glued to the TV and sleeping very little. I'm not someone who needs a ton of sleep, but in the week after the attack, I slept 3 or 4 hours/night. I really don't know why I didn't stop watching, but I couldn't. My brother, who is a writer, devoured information about the attacks. This massive amount of information, coupled with his natural propensity for worry, created months of insomnia and changed his world view drastically. My wife mourned the attacks and the loss of life, but got back to being a nurse and living a normal life much quicker than I...mostly because she had to.
The Saturday after the attacks on 9/11, Purdue was scheduled to play Notre Dame...but, like most sporting events in America, the game was re-scheduled for a later date. Purdue ended up playing Notre Dame in an extremely-rare early December home football game.
September 11th, 2001 is now a long time ago, but as it does for many of you, it seems like yesterday to me. I ask you to honor the victims today by remembering them, praying for their families and praying for our country.