I still can’t go through a September the 11th without thinking about ‘that day‘.
When I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 in Strasbourg I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes and spilling down my face. I know others saw me crying as I tried desperately to stiffel the sounds. It took me a full five minutes to get control over my emotions. I never expected to be touched so deeply by seeing that day played out again on the big screen. I wasn’t prepared for the wounds of that day to be opened so easily when I thought enough time had passed. I, myself, was amazed at the feelings that whirled inside me out of my control.
It is impossible to describe what I felt and still feel when confronted by this day.
I was working at the bank when it happened. The tears sprung up immediately at the news that my country had been attacked. I thought of the loss of lives. I told my fellow workers that we would be at war. No one could do this and it not be a call to war. They didn’t see it that way at first.
I was told that I could leave to get my daughter, Angel, if I wanted. The bank was not closing. We would keep working and not let a terrorist act stop our country (as Bush had asked). I decided to stay with the others and leave Angel where she was. She was safe.
For the remainder of that day a small television played the news behind the teller line. In the past the television was brought out only for Ohio State games. We listened and watched together sometimes excusing ourselves to take a break from it all. It was emotional.
Vilay called me from his work to tell me it had happened. I already knew from customers and was watching the television as he spoke with me. I needed his “I love you” more than he knew. He, also, told me that he was sorry for what had happened to my country. My husband was the first ‘foreigner’ to extend his compassion to me as an American on 9/11. There were others later.
After picking up Angel from daycare I held her tight thinking of all the parents that died that day. Their children would never be held by them again. It was horrible.
I still cannot understand why another human being would do such a thing. I never will.
The events of that day touched me deeply as it did the world. I am with my country today more than any other day of the year.
The terrorist weren’t successful at tearing apart my country. What they did was bring her closer together. After that day, I felt a bound with other Americans that I had never felt before.
For the first time in our marriage I felt separated from Vilay. As an American, I felt attacked personally that day. He could not feel what I felt. All he could do was hold my hand and offer his support. He was not American.
I still feel it on every September 11th.
I looked at the church clock today on my way to pick up Sweet Bear from school. I counted back six hours to Ohio time…9:15 a.m. Six years ago it had already started. I felt the tears but I fought them back. How does an American picking up her daughter at a Swiss school explain tears? They have forgotten 9/11. It wasn’t their country that was attacked. I know they would never piece together my tears with today’s date.
I know I have expressed concerns about America and talked about things I didn’t like in my country. However, I have never said that I didn’t love America.
I love my country. I always will.
My thoughts are with all the families and fellow Americans that were touched by 9/11.