Photo taken in Centerville, Ohio.
I have hung my flag out in remembrance of 9/11. Today, I am a little emotional in regard to my country. Maybe, I am even a little protective.
It makes it harder for me to be strong when a man asks me for a second time why I don’t speak French with my children. I respond that English is my language and my children are American just as I have once before. I explain for a second time that my parents do not speak French. “Oh, your parents don’t speak French!”, he says with surprise. I tell him, “No, my parents are American and they only speak English.”
“Do you speak another language than French?” I ask him. “No.”, he answers. And, we both smile. I think he saw my point even if it didn’t change his mind about my not speaking French.
As I walked into my building I had to smirk as I saw the American flag waving proudly from my bedroom window. It is not possible that this man did not see it flapping in the wind of the Jura mountains of Switzerland right over his head as he walked down our street! I am sure he didn’t like it one little bit.
Any other day it would have gotten my feathers ruffled that he could be so ignorant.
When I am homesick already and it is 9/11, a day that brings back memories of hurt and loss, I found myself hurrying inside to shut the door of my apartment so that no one could see the tears streaming down my face. As I leaned up against the door, I knew it wasn’t because of this man that I was crying. It wasn’t because I don’t like living in Switzerland or that I don’t feel that I belong here. I love living here and I do belong here.
It was because of the emotion that 9/11 brings every year. I am surprised that this day still touches me deeply. Yet, I remember the children that died, the fathers and mothers, the sons and daughters, the husbands and wives and all the others. I imagine a child older now who has grown without their parent there beside them. A parent that was taken away from them. And, the tears fall in remembrance.
I am deeply reminded that I am American through and through even if I have spent almost four years living in Europe.