10 years ago, I was standing in my bathroom at my dad & stepmom's house, blow-drying my hair and getting ready for class. I heard my stepmom on the phone saying "a plane hit the world trade center." My first thoughts were "Was the pilot sick or high or something?" I sank down on to the couch next to her as the second plane hit. Silently, we held hands.
10 years ago, I drove to class, listening to the radio. I heard the disbelief and the grief in the DJs' voices. I didn't want to get out of my car -- I just wanted to keep listening. I finally walked into my political science class, where the giant screen we used for the day's notes was tuned into the news. My professor, always dependable to have something to say, stood silently with one hand over her mouth. Before I could find a seat, the building fell. I sat down in the aisle because I didn't think my legs could hold me up.
10 years ago, my choir director walked past me in the music building, his eyes filled with grief, and said, "This makes Oklahoma City look like a goddamned firecracker."
10 years ago, just before classes at UNT were canceled for the day, I went to my next class -- Theory I with Dr. Cho. He passed out the day's hymn, which he used to have us practice sight-singing. He asked that in reverence to the day's events, we sing the words. In his heavily accented, soft-spoken voice, he asked that if we had a problem singing the words, that we just remain silent. That morning, 100 or more music students sang four verses of "Nearer My God To Thee" in 4-part harmony. I will never forget that moment.
Even as I remember and honor and pray for the fallen and the families of the fallen and the heroes who see all the horrific images when they close their eyes even now...I am heartbroken that we seem to have forgotten the unity and camaraderie that we as a nation felt on that day and in the short days and weeks afterwards.
I log onto Facebook and Twitter and I see lashing out at Republicans and Democrats and names called and jokes made, and it makes me sad. I see parties trying to beat and belittle the other, rather than a country trying to do what's best for us and future generations.
Lord, let us remember that unity and patriotism need to happen more often than on national holidays and anniversaries of national tragedy.
And let us never forget September 11th, 2001.