Thursday, September 11, 2008


As my days often blend together, this morning all that registered was that it was Thursday, Malia had a field trip today and I had to drive AM carpool. I got all the kids ready and piled into the car by 8:25 and headed to pick up the first carpool kid.
We drove past the school right by our house and I saw that the flag was at half-staff. i glanced to the South just a bit and saw that the city office flag and the main roundabout flag were both fully up. Huh. Feeling a little out of it I called Aaron. "Have I missed something? Why isn't the flag up?" After an awkward pause he said "Catey-today is the 11th."


It was like a phantom sucker punch.

Have you forgotten?

Seven years ago I was just hanging out at home with my 15 month old and almost 3yr old. I was 6 wks away from delivering our third child. I always look straight to the clock upon waking and noticed that it was 6:42 am. I was kind of bugged that it was so early and I'd woken up even though the kids were still sleeping but decided to get up anyway. I remember Aaron calling and telling me to turn on the TV-that one of the Towers in NY was hit by a plane. I turned on the TV but was confused and told him it was just a picture of some other building on fire. I realized at the camera pulled back that it was the Pentagon. Coverage then turned back to New York and within minutes saw the footage of when second plane hit. Watching that was like getting hit right in the gut. I stood there in my bathrobe watching it unfold and just feeling sick. There was a slight feeling of panic-just how much worse was this going to get? Malia kept asking what was wrong-it was frustrating to tell her that I didn't know. It was a little eerie when I realized what time I had woken up that morning, I've not ever forgotten than.

What an interesting turn that day was. It was nothing short of horrific for obvious reasons. Anger, shock, disbelief, was all there. But also hope. What a refreshing change it was to suddenly have everyone wanting to work together. Everyone wanting to make our country better, no matter your political affiliation. Suddenly everyone flew the flag, choked up at the National Anthem, professed their love of our great nation.

I miss that.

As I drove the kids to school, the roads were lined with flags. One of them mentioned "oh, some other guy must be coming home today", as it is tradition in our little city to line the streets with flags and yellow ribbons when soldiers from our city return home-a small token of thanks for the sacrifice made by them and their families. I found myself struggling with my emotions as I told them why the flags were out today. The main response was "oh yah." And then conversation turned to the coming events of the day. It was interesting to me what little difference it seemed to make to them. A reminder that as a parent I must do a better job instilling in my children just how great the sacrifices are that have been made on their behalf, by countless people over the past 200+ years. They need to know that some of our friends and family members shipped off into the middle of it all so that we can be here, blissfully ignorant of just what they do on our behalf each day, as we go about our days.

(and yes, the other flags were fixed by the time I was home 2hrs later)

To those of you who sent your family out there, and continue to do so-thank you.


Justin said...

It's too bad we as a nation couldn't be this patriotic everyday. At the same time sad that kids and others just take the flag waving for granted. The heroes of this country, whether volunteer or not, are what makes me proud to be an American.

Aaron said...

God Bless America.

I love you Catey.

Brad Ball said...


Sort of funny... I had a busy morning and didn't realize it was actually September 11th until I started reading your blog. I guess it's sad that only 7 years later... September 11th has started to fade away from peoples memory...

My recollection of the morning is similar to yours... I was up early... and actually heard the first news report on the radio... then witnesses the events unfold up at the student union center at the U of U (though I seem to remember the 2nd plane hitting the WTC before the pentagon).

You hit it right on the spot... in the midst of the tragedy unfolding it was great to see everyone across the nation "rally around the flag" regardless of background or political affiliation... It would be nice to witness that again... without the national tragedy affixed to it. Enjoyed your comments.

Heidi B C said...

Thank you for those wonderful thoughts. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing at the time I found out about this too. I was at work and we didn't have a television there. It wasn't until the evening that I got home and saw the photographs and video of what happened when I just broke down and cried. It was a very emotional day for all of us and I hope to bring up my children in realizing how good we have it in this country and how much we take for granted.