Grandkids and 9/11

September 11 never fails to evoke memories of that horrible day in 2001 and, I haven’t met anyone who was old enough to remember that can’t share exactly where they were or what they were doing. It’s one of those moments in history.

Each year, as the day approaches, I watch the tributes and videos that remind me of the initial feelings of bewilderment followed by dread, fear, and sadness. We watched the towers fall, saw the pentagon hit, and tried to grasp the horror and confusion of people covered in soot and ash, trying to escape awful scenarios. And, even in here in Texas, everyone knew someone who had loved ones that were caught in the travel nightmare or worse.  

I remember, but you know who doesn’t remember? My grandchildren. Sure, they’ve heard us telling our tales of the day because we tell the stories every year but, they have no concept of what it all means.

Fortunately, we were able to remedy that a little bit today. Just a few miles from our home, a tribute was set-up in a park for the public to take a self-guided tour of the timeline of events. Even more powerful than the pictures were the 2977 flags honoring the men, women, and children who lost their lives. It offered an opportunity to tell the stories differently, surrounded by so many red, white, and blue flags.

They may not ever grasp the feelings we experienced on September 11, 2001, or in the following weeks. I hope none of them ever go through another tragedy or attack even close to what happened on that Tuesday, but at the very least, the sea of flags made an impression of the sheer number of people who died and, hopefully, they, too, will not forget.

President George W. Bush September 14, 2001 “…..I want you all to know that America today, America today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens…”

A Blue Angel Quarantine Salute

On Monday morning Facebook lit up with posts about the Blue Angels coming to North Texas.  As they have in other cities, they would do a flyover to honor COVID19 frontline responders and essential workers.  But, it became more than that.

Whether it was on social media or the news the excitement was palpable with the notion that for a few seconds the public would be treated to seeing the amazing Blue Angels.

Why were so many of us so excited? After all, it was just 6 jets streaking across the sky.

First of all – it was 6 jets streaking across the sky! And, in a formation!! Sometimes a very-tight-so-close-that-it-was-kinda-scary-looking formation.

Second of all – they were doing it to honor the American workers!

Third of all – don’t we all love planes, trains, and cool cars? Okay, maybe not absolutely everyone loves them but a lot of us do.

This was the most exciting thing to happen in the metroplex since the quarantine began. For a brief moment, life felt normal again. More importantly, it felt like, instead of 47 different opinions on every decision being made, that we were all one.  Excited and eagerly anticipating a brief glimpse of these great symbols of America fly right over our hometowns.

After the flyover, the social media I saw was filled with amazing pictures and videos.  Some from cell phones, some from professional cameras.  All filled with pride that Dallas, Ft. Worth, and all the cities around were honored. The Blue Angels and the US Navy may have been officially recognizing first responders and essential workers but the gift they gave to many many more of us lifted our spirits, renewed our sense of patriotism, and boosted our morale.

Photo cred and a big thank you to Mrs. M Monnat for the use of the 3 pictures

For my own family, it also took us on a trip down memory lane.  Way back in the olden days we would go to the Pensacola area for a week each summer.  And, every Tuesday we would haul ourselves out of bed so we could be at the Naval Air Station before 8:00 am because we knew that the Blue Angels practiced on Tuesday mornings and that the public could watch for free.  (Again, this was 15 + years ago – I have no idea what they do now).  Following the show, we would visit the National Naval Aviation Museum.  It was always a wonderful morning and highlight of our beach week.

Blue Angels and US Navy – THANK YOU! The flyover today, along with the trip down memory lane, made this a very nice quarantine day.

ps….the weather was also spring perfected – light winds, low humidity, blue skies, few clouds, and 79 degrees.  What a bonus!!