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Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day. It happened on September 11,
2001. We all remember that horrible day. The song says it
best. "Where were you when the world stopped turning?
I was in bed sleeping next to my husband. We are not
morning people. That's why I was surprised to wake up to
movements and find him sitting up in bed. He was on the
telephone and had the TV on.
I asked him what was going on. He tried to tell me but I
couldn't understand. I put on my cochlear implant
processor and he tried again. I still didn't follow what he
was saying.
Finally he got frustrated and pointed to the TV. I moved
closer to where I could read the closed caption. That's how
I learned about the terrorist attack.
The odd thing is that I should have been able to hear his
explanation once I put on my processor. I think I did hear
the words but they didn't make any sense. Hijacking...
buildings hit by planes... thousands of people dead. This
isn't supposed to happen in America. My brain wouldn't
accept what he was trying to tell me.
My ex-husband is not a sentimental person. He got tired of
the media coverage and all the fuss. He was in a bad mood
that day because normal life was suspended and that
inconvenienced him. Later in the day, he went back to bed
in order to escape the annoyances of a grieving nation.
I was sitting in the living room watching the news on the
big TV. JD was only three months old at the time. He was
taking a nap in his play pen in the corner of the room. I
had the TV sounds down low so that JD could sleep.
Soon, I was distracted by a crying baby. I looked in the
play pen and was surprised to see JD wide awake and on his
back. He hated to be on his back. I had put him down to
nap on his tummy because it was the only way he'd go to
sleep.
I consoled my little son and then turned him back over onto
his stomach. I was confused about how he got on his back.
He wasn't able to roll over yet. He settled down and I went
back to watching the news.
A few minutes later, I heard JD cry again. Just like
before, he was on his back and quite unhappy about it. I
thought my husband must be playing a joke on me by turning
over the baby. I called out and looked for him but he
wasn't around.
I turned JD over onto his stomach but this time I watched
him out of the corner of my eye. After a few moments, he
lifted up his body. It took much effort for him to push up
high enough. And then he suddenly flipped over. He was so
happy that he giggled in glee. Then he was stuck on his
back and began to fuss.
I laughed and hugged JD. I was proud of his new
accomplishment. Little did I know what I was in for. He
loved to flip over but hated to be stuck on his back. All
day long we repeated the same routine - baby down to sleep,
push up high, flip over, giggle, fuss, cry, mommy to the
rescue and then do it all over again. It was like our
little dance that day.
What do you remember about September 11th? Fear. Shock.
Horror. Death. Destruction. Pain. Grief. Outrage.
What do I remember about September 11th? It was the day my
baby learned to roll over onto his back. It was a milestone
for him. It was a human being doing something new for the
first time ever.
I learned something that day. They can hurt us. They can
kill us. They can terrorize us. But they can't stop us.
They can't stop the human spirit.
In the midst of all that horror and pain, a little tiny baby
did something special. He showed me that no matter what,
life will go on. We will triumph because that's what humans
do. Let us remember, rejoice, pray and sing.

Lyrics by Alan Jackson

"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of That black smoke
rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

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