September 11, 2009 by Marj Hatzell
It started out innocently enough. I had Bug Boy and my niece (babies at the time! How quickly they grow!) in the double stroller, Bugaboo wasn’t even conceived yet. We walked around the neighborhood on a chilly fall morning and soaked in the beautiful sunshine and listened to the birds chirping madly. It was quiet. Too quiet. WAY TOO QUIET. Y’all? I live five minutes from an airport. Ok, TEN because of sucky traffic and a new exit ramp. But seriously? Not one plane was taking off.
A few minutes later we got home, I handed the kids their breakfast and turned on the morning news programs. Instead of Katie and Matt and Al and Ann I was watching a smoking World Trade Center. And then they were showing the Pentagon. And then I watched another plane hit. And then I cried. And cried. And didn’t move for hours, even to eat. The babies didn’t know what was happening. They couldn’t know. One minute I was an innocent, ignorant new mom, out with my babies for a walk. The next minute I was wondering why I wanted to have children if this was the world they were going to inherit. I felt utterly alone and horrified.
I pretty much sat there for a week. But the first day? I’ve never cried so much in my life. I’ve never been so horrified. I’ve never openly wept over babies dying, babies losing their Daddies and Mommies, communities losing their heroes. I did that day.
Here we are eight years later. Politically heated arguments, untruths spreading like wildfire and finger-pointing is the norm. Seriously. We came together as a country that day. We need to do it again. We aren’t much better off, y’all. We need to find a middle ground. Those people who died that day? They died praying and hoping that someone would carry on, that we’d see to it that they didn’t die in vain. And now I have family members, friends and neighbors, even perfect strangers, trying to make sure that never, ever happens again.
Please join me in putting aside our differences, thinking about those who lost their lives innocently, those who rushed inside of burning and collapsing buildings to save people they never met in their entire lives (instead of saving themselves). Please join me in thinking about those who survived and the horror they have lived with every day since. Take five minutes to think about what it really means. F*ck politics, healthcare and speeches. F*ck death panels and deficits. F*ck macrame! (Ten points for the person who can name that film).
Just five minutes. That’s all it takes.