I feel so inexplicably emotional today.
I can't pinpoint it, but it just hurts. Everywhere.
I woke up this morning and immediately turned on the news. The flashback of that action transported me instantaneously back to the morning of 9/11/01.
And I burst into tears right there on my bedroom floor this morning.
The weight of it was just so unreal. Because I didn't know anyone personally who lost their lives or their loved one that day. But re-watching those planes... slice through the towers...like warm cake...
And all day long, every movie on every cable channel had something to do with 9/11 or New York or war...
And even at the Cowboys/Jets tonight, moments after Lady Antebellum sang the National Anthem, the entire crowd of 80,000 began chanting U-S-A, U-S-A...
And then, of course, there were CNN and MSNBC, and their constant continuous ceaseless coverage of the Anniversary Celebration, recapping the events of that day, interviewing the people noted as "footnotes" in the 9/11 Commission Report (including the airline agents who actually checked in the terrorists, the flight controller who confirmed the first hijacking was in progress, the F-16 fighter pilot deployed to find and intercept American flight 11, the person who gave the 1st-ever national emergency order to cancel all flights and ground all planes).
I felt shaken all day.
And then at some point, a bone-chilling clip of the 9/11 Hearings just rattled me to the core.
Thank God for the passengers of Flight 93, they kept saying. Because the FAA had refused -- paralyzed, it seems -- to inform pilots in the air of further potential hijackings. And then...then came THE question asked by the Commission of the airforce general in charge at the time of the attacks: "Assuming all communication would have worked out the way it should have, would it have been physically possible to intercept either the first plane that hit the first tower, the 2nd plane that hit the 2nd tower, or the 3rd plane that hit the Pentagon?"
And the answer, qualified by, "You're assuming the FAA would've communicated their knowledge of the hijackings as soon as they knew?"
"Yes, we could've shot them down."
I can't stop thinking about that. What a different world this would be today.
And all day long I've felt obsessed and overwhelmed with gratitude and sadness. I can't seem to get my fill of every possible minute, of every conversation, of every suspicious notion, of every first moment of recognition, of every photo, of every sound byte, of every single individual memory and story.
When Former Counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke, got up in front of the Commission, all by himself, flanked only by the media and the victims' family members, and finally took accountability for the failures of our government to protect its' people, I broke down again.
At one point this morning, I did try to explain the significance of the day to the monsters. We talked about 9/11 again, about the hunt for Bin Laden again, and about the memorial and what it means to family and friends and even complete strangers to have a place to go pay their respects. And they were listening, and nodding, and trying to show me that they understood what I was saying, that I was somehow deeply affected by all this, and that I expected some reverence from them -- for the moment in time, for the lives lost, for the forever scar it left on so many.
But they're eight. And they don't really get it. Not really. And I can't really explain it. Not the way I mean to. And suddenly I get how my grandmother must've felt whenever she tried talking about Pearl Harbor to us kids. And how my mother must've felt every time she tried to explain how the Vietnam War affected so many on so many different levels. And here we are now. And this is ours. Our war. Although it's never really been designated as such. And so they'll never ever get it. Not really. Not from that place that knots up your belly and chokes up your tears.
At least not until it happens during their lifetime.
And I can only hope and pray that that's one lesson they never ever have to learn.