I remember. It was about 7 a.m. west coast time when
the phone rang.
“Turn on the TV,” my mom said in my ear. Strange. Why was she calling me from Idaho to tell me to watch the television?
What she said next I wish I could forget.
“We’re under attack,”my mom said, “Two planes just his the World Trade Center.”
Maybe I was stunned. Instead of trying to find out more, I just took my daughter to school. Even though I had lived in Canada for years, I knew my native land. We were the home of the free and the brave. No one would dare make it through our guarded borders and wage war.
Obviously, someone was grossly misinformed. I never thought that it would be me.
“How could you?” said a kid’s mom just a few feet away from me. I guess she saw me talking to my friends as if nothing was wrong, “It’s your country.”
Tears ran down her face.
I stopped talking to my friends and walked home.
By the time I turned on the television, the Trade Center had crumbled like an ancient relic exposed to fresh air. The Pentagon was burning and the entire manifest of a passenger plane lay dead in a Pennsylvania field.
Even though I sat on a couch in Canada, my heart went back to where I belonged.
In that instant I was bound to my countrymen by sorrow. We huddled together in utter disbelief. Eventually, we were united in our rage.
Over a decade has gone by. My kids are grown. My memories of the day not so clear.
Hope. That’s what remains.
Hope that we will never forget those who died. That we will cherish the freedom that survived and still thrives.
Hope, that in our darkest hour, we will remain one nation under God.