Wednesday, September 12, 2007

911 Remembrance

Sean’s post prompted my significant memories of 911. Damn, that day is a Kodak Moment! As part of my work, I conduct a daily Living Skills class with veterans from 0800 until 1000 hours Central. There were nine veterans attending that day.Three were combat veterans from Vietnam (marine, army, and a Navy River Rat), Gulf War, one whom had been in several countries as forward recon that our government does not acknowledge involvement (his DD-214 verified “foreign service/non-specified”), one from Grenada, and one from Panama. The others had not been in any combat. The class was going very well until my boss barged in the door and demanded that I turn on the TV. I was miffed that the class had been interrupted, but turned the TV on as ordered (the boss had been a staff sergeant in Vietnam and doesn’t make “pretty please” requests). We all set there amazed when a few minutes later the second plane hit the tower. As more reports came in regarding flight 93 in Pennsylvania and flight 77 that hit the Pentagon, the denial of the events that were unraveling gave way to rage. The statements of denial were very vocal. The rage came out as silence. It was palpable. The combat veterans were the most silent. Their rage was more than just the events. Their rage included experiences that they had experienced before when they had lost friends in battle. There were many silent tears of rage that morning. We did not close the class that day, as is customary. The veterans just slowly left when they needed. I remember the absence of traffic on the street that day. Things were too quit, at first. Then the F-16s from the local Air Guard launched. The wings were loaded with weapons and external fuel tanks; the sight and sound of freedom! The days that followed were days of anger and a wish for retaliation and revenge. I am glad that I was not the Commander in Chief during that time. Somewhere would have been a glass parking lot! Let us not forget that day that our Country was invaded. May we continue to support our troops and the mission they are on. I’m glad there were no WMD’s found. Too many American’s would have died. So far it has been an “away game” and our troops attract the world’s worst. Thanks to our troop, (to paraphrase a quote), tonight I will sleep peacefully in my bed.

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