Eighteen years ago today I was serving up breakfast for my elementary schoolers, finding misplaced sneakers, signing forms from a wad of papers that had been stuffed in discarded backpacks, kissing little faces, and rushing my three ‘big kids’ to the bus.
This Tuesday morning my little guy and I had a MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) meeting at the park. There was no time to turn on the TV. No time to imagine that the unimaginable was about to happen.
I strapped Jack in his car seat and we got on the road for our 5 minute drive. The announcer on the radio broke through my thoughts of organizing the sweet new mommies into groups for the year.
Not one, but TWO airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center….a terrorist attack…people were trapped…THE SECOND TOWER IS FALLING DOWN!!!
I pulled into the parking lot and turned off the car. The reporter on the radio kept updating me on the loss and destruction.
I don’t remember scooping Jack up and holding him close while we approached the other mothers. I don’t remember what we said to one another as we watched our precious little ones run and play on the slides and swings. I don’t even remember anything but feeling like someone had punched me in the gut. It was surreal and tangible at the same time.
Fast forward 18 years and my Jack is now at USAFA, serving in the Air Force. This memorial was placed on campus to remember the lives taken, recognize the courageous deeds of those who came to rescue, reaffirm respect for life, and resolve to preserve our freedoms.
“Where were you when the world stopped turnin’?”