OK, I'm doing a Monday Mission. It's been a while since I've done one, but I was checking my e-mail and there was the little reminder so I figured I'd actually do it this week! It's a kind of somber one, but with the week that's coming up that's probably appropriate.
1. Where were you and what was happening in your life the moment when you first became aware of what was happening at the World Trade Center in New York City last September 11th? What was the first thing you did when you heard the news? OK, to explain this one I have to give you a little back story of me so... I work evenings, but I also love TV, so I end up taping everything and watching it later on tape. So, I woke up that morning stuck a tape in the VCR and started watching. When I finished whatever tape I was on (I don't remember what it was) hit stop, rewind, and the first thing I saw after the "stop" was one of the towers coming down. My first thought was "I don't think I've seen this movie." Started flipping channels and the thought was "why's it on every channel? this can't be a movie." I think I clung to a lot of denial for a bit there. I didn't think this could possibly happen, so it had to be fake, right? It was probably noon by this point and I slowly realized that this was actually happening. The first thing I did... I called work. I work at a local TV news station, and after you've worked at a news place for a certain length of time, when something happens, the first instinct becomes to call work. So, I called work and ended up going in early to help with everything.
2. When those truly responsible for the attack are apprehended, what do you think would be the most fitting form of justice? I don't believe in the death penalty, so I would have to say putting them in prison for the rest of their natural lives would be appropriate. But I know that people can still direct others from within prison, so communications with the leaders (or conspirators or terrorists or whomever it end up being) would have to be CLOSELY monitored.
3. This will probably be much like when our parents respond to "Where were you when JFK was shot?"- an event never forgotten by those who were there. But how do you think the history books should present the 9-11 attacks? Should it be included for all future generations? How can we truly convey the shock, the outrage, the emotions and pain of that day to the children of our children? I don't know if it can be explained in words/pictures/sounds. It isn't only the blow by blow of what happened, it's also the reaction of all of us to what happened. Eventually, I'm sure it will be what Pearl Harbor is to us. I can't really understand the shock/outrage of the people then. I know what happened, I know what the result was, but I can't understand the emotion. Maybe in 50 or 60 years kids will say the same thing about 9-11. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe a little bit of both.
4. No one in that building, in the Pentagon, or on the planes (other than the terrorists) knew that 9-11 would be their last day to be alive. For me, it brought home the reality that I could be gone at anytime, without any warning. Now, I really want each day to have some value. Did the events of 9-11 bring about a change in the way you live your life? Not the way you mean I think. Emotionally, it has. I didn't have much of a reaction to the entire mess until the following Sunday night. I was so wrapped up in the work aspect of it. Doing what needed to be done. But that Sunday at work we were half way through our 10 o'clock news cast, I was TD'ing (technical directing/punching all the buttons) and started crying. I couldn't stop. The next day, Monday, I was supposed to edit for the 5 o'clock show and then work crew for all three shows. I ended up closing the edit bay door and crying the entire time. It became physically impossible for me to stop. One of my co-workers (and friends) was kind enough to edit for the 10 o'clock show for me so I could go home for a couple hours. It's amazing how much a Mommy cuddle/hug/snuggle can help make you feel all safe even when you're in your 20's. I've learned to be much more careful about my emotional well-being (I've been having to do that for years anyway, I've been struggling with depression for 6 or 7 years now) but to a much greater degree. If I focus to much on what happened I can feel myself going to that place again, and that isn't good!
5. Several who loved to fly in planes will not step foot in one anymore. Many parents are more protective of their children. A year later, do you find yourself feeling more secure than back then? Or is it just a matter of time before something else happens? I think something else will happen, I don't think it'll be as big, but it will happen. My parents fly a lot (the work with missionaries, so they fly to where the missionaries are) and their first few trips after 9-11 were very hard for me. I was more worried than I've been in a long time. But I know that God is watching over them and if he decided to take them home, then they'll go home. A year later, I'm a little bit more secure, but at the same time I'm still kind of waiting for the next thing to happen.
6. The best way for me to honor the those impacted by the attack will be to refrain from any media that day. No papers, no radio and especially no television. Others will light candles, and others will attend special services. What, if anything, will you do to personally reflect on the tragedy? Well, I can't avoid the media (I work in it after all) I don't know what I'll do. I haven't really thought that far ahead yet.
7. One of the visuals that touched me the most were the walls and walls full of hand made "Missing" posters. What image will you always have in your mind when you recall the events of 9-11? The cliche is the firefighters raising the flag, or the flag over the wall at the Pentagon. Then there's the one front wall of one of the towers that was still standing in the rubble. The video from inside a few of the buildings nearby when the towers came down, how everything suddenly became black, and then when it settled, everything was white. That Friday there was a candlelight vigil along one of the main streets in my city. Driving down that was amazing. Hundreds of people lined the street with candles and flags. The fire department and police were there flashing their lights and sirens, people that couldn't stop drove by and honked in support. It's been said by lots of people already, but seeing that many people come together to support each other and our country was breathtaking.
BONUS: Who's gonna come around when you break? My mom. She's always there to give me a hug or help me out whenever I need it.
Comment question of the week: What's your favorite hand gesture? I sign (ASL) so probably the "I Love You" hand. It says so much and is so simple, plus... I can draw it so I can add it to papers and things.
Thank you for this Monday Mission, I haven't written many of these things down, and haven't thought about them that much either. It's easier for me to try to ignore it all. You made me think about how I feel about the whole thing. Thank You!