Saturday, September 11, 2010

That Day....

Got my flag out this morning.

Used to be really good about flying it all the time. I put it out just about every day that my brother was deployed to Iraq. Kinda been slacking on the flag lately. Shouldn't we fly it everyday?
I remember when I got my flag.
It was September 12, 2001.
September 11th, Matt and I were home in bed. We worked second shift then. Matt's dad called us and told us to turn on the news. We turned it on right about the time a second plane hit another tower. We watched live as the first tower fell, still in our bed. We were a little numb. It was all very strange. We watched it all day until it was time to go to work. I talked to my family in Iowa. Everyone was kind of numb.
Numb is a good way to describe it.
We went to work even though we weren't sure if we needed to. Planes weren't flying, everyone was tuned to the TV. I worked customer service for Beech at the time, taking orders for spare parts. Since all the planes in the US were grounded, no one really was worried about getting parts. I had a call or two in the days ensuing that said "we are AOG! We need that part!" My response was "every airplane in the country is AOG right now! I'd suggest you send that part UPS ground so it gets to you on a truck, because who knows how long it's going to take to get the packages sent via air up and running again."
We all spent most of the time at work watching clips on the internet. Especially since I worked second and it was just me and another guy. After the numbness wore off, there was anger. There was "Don't mess the USA!"
There was September 12th. I heard that Dillards had a few flags left in stock. I called them and had them hold two for me. One for us and one for the in-laws. It was a Tommy Hilfiger flag. First Tommy item I think I ever owned. Darn good quality fabric....9 years later that Flag still adorns our house quite often.
Do you remember the pictures of American neighborhoods where every house had a flag flying? Where did they all go? Are we only proud to be an American when we get messed with? Do we only unite in crisis?

That day changed our country. That day had a huge influence on my brother deciding to go into the Marines. That day got my brother, my cousin, my cousin in law, and many others deployed to war zones. Thank God, in spite of That Day, my family members all came home. Not everyone was so lucky.
That Day made packing for airline trips difficult at best. It made me not be able to pack a snow globe souvenir in my carry on bag for my daughter. It made me have to take my shoes off to go through security. That Day started all of what we see now in the airplane security world. That Day made us eye fellow passengers hoping they were not a terrorist.
That Day made gas prices absolutely nuts. Do you remember the $1/gallon gas? I miss those days.
That Day needs to be always in our hearts, it needs to keep our flags flying Every Day. Because it's not just in honor and memory of That Day that we should be proud to be an American, that we should Unite. It is Every Day that we should be.

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