On September 4, 2001, a very exciting thing happened; I became a grandmother. Because of complications, my daughter and her baby were not released from the hospital until September 10, and I went home with them to help out. .
That first night was a long one, as I walked the floor with a newborn for the first time in many years. The next morning, I was awakened by the shrill ringing of the phone, and I grabbed it quickly, hoping it wouldn't wake the baby.
With no other greeting, my husband's voice told me to turn on the TV, now! I did so, and stared in confusion at the TV screen. I realized I was looking at the Twin Towers in New York, but something was very wrong. One of the towers didn't look right, and there was thick, black smoke everywhere. Was it a fire, some kind of explosion? The TV cameras panned down to the street level, where I saw fire trucks and flashing lights and so many people running everywhere. Then, I finally focused on what the newscaster was saying, how a plane had come out of nowhere and had flown directly into the building.
And then while I and the rest of the nation watched in horror, we saw the second plane appear in the sky. It circled the second tower and then it crashed straight into that building.
For the next several hours, I sat in front of the TV, crying and rocking my little granddaughter and praying for her future, for surely we were at war.
I knew our world had changed forever. But, this couldn't be happening—our country had never been attacked before. All that day we watched and heard of the terrorist attempts to crash other planes into the Pentagon, the White House and the valiant sacrifice of the plane full of passengers that crashed into a field rather than into a public building full of innocent people.
I know that the sight of all those desperate people jumping from the tower windows and falling to their death, rather than burn inside those walls, will live in my memory forever.
I will never forget the many, many heroic firemen and policemen risking, and giving their lives climbing up those tower stairways, to save the lives of others. I will never forget the recorded phone calls of those inside who had time to contact their loved ones at home to say goodbye, knowing they would not be saved that day.
I will never forget, but my little granddaughter is now 10 years old, and while I don't want her to feel hatred or fear towards others, I do think she and her generation need to see those images again. They need to know what can happen, what did happen and could happen again.
They need to know why we must elect people in governing positions that can make wise but sometimes very difficult decisions about our position in the world. And how we sometimes have to fight bad things in other countries, to keep those bad things from happening here in our country ever again.
God bless America and God bless our world.