(I apologize if this is weird and disjointed. I needed to get this off my chest this morning.)
I slept late this morning. My dear husband worked until midnight last night and I always feel compelled to stay up for him. Then he went to bed before me because he had to be up before God this morning. (He's sleeping again now, so that's good)
When I woke up, I was thinking about everything I need to get accomplished this week. I went to the kitchen, looked at the calender, determined it was Thursday and started a list titled "Goals for 9/10-9/14". After I finished the list, I did the same thing I do every morning. I logged on to check Facebook and e-mail. That's when everything stopped. I had the wrong day. It's not Thursday, it's Friday. And it's not 9/10, it's 9/11.
First, the tears came. I don't know if 9/11 will ever come in my lifetime and I won't feel sorrow for the tragedy of that day. I hope not.
The second thing that happened was I stopped to consider how 9/11 affected me personally. I watched every bit of the news coverage that morning eight years ago, on the coincidence that I was in a place with the morning news playing. And even though I drove around with my boyfriend at the time looking for a place to give blood, that day didn't seriously immediately impact my life. I still interviewed for a job on that very day. I got the job, I moved, I shopped, I went out with friends, I tried to adjust to life outside of college, and I stayed wrapped up in my own little world and the tragedies of my own life.
Now, eight years later, I am married to an American Airman. He enlisted in 2004, and I can't imagine that the events of 9/11 didn't have some impact on that decision. We didn't have a traditional wedding two and a half years ago, instead we were quickly married in a Las Vegas chapel because I wanted to be married before he deployed to Afghanistan. He hasn't gone back since then, but the possibility is always there.
I have had many discussions with people who don't believe in war, with people who believe that soldiers are murderers, and with a few who hold a "kill them all" stance.
War is a tragedy. I knew that before 9/11, but since then, I can't bear to watch TV programs or movies about war at all, they are too real. War has changed for me from an abstract tragedy to a personal one. I could never be a soldier. That said, war is a reality, and some people are able to be soldiers. It is their terrible responsibility and gift to bear and to use. They must fight, not for the desire to see others blood be shed, but so that those who would use violence to repress others through fear are taught that their actions will not stand. War is long, it is difficult, it is terrible, but those who can stand and fight bear the responsibility to fight for those who cannot defend themselves.
Before 9/11, I had known the evilness of men on a smaller level, but 9/11 truly taught me the beauty and necessity of both the soldier and the pacifist.