Monday, April 15, 2013

Thoughts and Prayers ...

Watching CNN tonight has brought back a lot of sad memories for me.  That first year after 9/11 was hard for everyone ... myself included.   I went to Washington, D.C. with the girls in August of 2002 ... less than a year after the attacks.  I remember we were standing at the Vietnam memorial ... looking at all the names.  It's a very quiet, somber place ... and as we were standing, there was the roaring sound of a plane going overhead.  Every person standing there winced ... some even cowered.  Every eye looked up to the sky to see where the plane was coming from.  There was a very sympathetic Park Services employee at the memorial that day.  He told everyone not to worry ... that Reagan National Airport was close by and that planes frequently flew over the mall area.

Knowing that made me feel better ... but that entire trip, I couldn't help wondering when "it" would happen.  When we took the Metro into the city, I would cringe when the train would shake or rattle.  It was hard not to be suspicious of everyone carrying backpack.  It felt like the world had changed ... and no where was "safe" anymore.

While I had extra worries when I traveled ... being home didn't make those thoughts disappear.  For years after 9/11, when I watched the Super Bowl or some other sporting event I would think how dangerous it was to have all those people gathering in one place.  It was an irrational thought ... but it would pop up now and then.

It took a long time to pull back from that ... for all of us to relax.  Anniversaries passed.  I remember being scheduled to fly to Denver for a training school on 09/11/2006 ... five years to the day after the attacks.  I flew out on the 9th instead ... and paid out of pocket for two extra days at the hotel.  I told management it was because I wanted to be able to explore the mountains ... and I did explore.  But the reason I went early was because I was terrified to fly on the 11th.

And so today at work, we heard the news about the bombings in Boston ... and all I could think was ... not again.   All that fear and death and grief and sadness ... it's so unthinkable.   All we can do is pray that this is an isolated incident.  It would be a tragedy to go back to those days ... back when we watched baseball games or concerts and thought, "I hope everyone is safe ..."

We've got to hold on ready or not
You live for the fight when it's all that you've got
Oh, we're halfway there
Living on a prayer
Take my hand
We'll make it I swear
Living on a prayer
Bon Jovi - Livin' on a Prayer

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