I have never seen the video of the planes hitting the World Trade towers. I have never seen them fall. But I can picture exactly where I was 10 years and 1 day ago as if it happened yesterday. We had picked up Tim at the military airport in Norfolk a few days before and were preparing for a family vacation to Maine before he started his new position on a amphibious assault ship, the USS Wasp. He came in the door and said, "Turn on the radio!" and we sat transfixed in the kitchen listening to the announcer (Tom Brokaw, I think) state breathlessly how the first tower had fallen, the plane hitting the second tower, and then its collapse as well. I remember wondering aloud if someone (who, I don't know) needed him to help identify bodies, but he assured me that there were plenty of people in the NY area that were capable.
With the command not needing him yet (they insisted he take his leave), we drove up the East Coast, seeing American flags and encouraging signs along every road. What impressed me the most were the individuals in Maine. It seemed as if every yard along Route 1 sported dozens of tiny flags spaced evenly along the road. The concept that "our nation will prevail" was palpable to everyone. I recall not being frightened, but full of righteous anger.
Today, we seemed to be a weaker people, one that meekly accepts being treated like terrorists ourselves at airports rather than offend Muslims. We have downplayed the threat to our country at any moment. I pray for those those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, pray that the souls of their dearly departed are in the hands of God, and that we will never forget or let their sacrifice be in vain.