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September 11, 2001

34 Everyone remembers where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001. It's like the previous generation with John F. Kennedy's assassination. Here's what I remember:

It was the first official year of homeschool for my daughters. Claudia was about 2 weeks into Kindergarten, and Chloe was a year old. My first husband had a habit of calling from work to tell me things that weren't true just to be funny.

So when he called me and said, "Airplanes have just crashed into the World Trade Center" I didn't take it seriously. He urged me to turn on the TV and see for myself. Wow! It was like a nightmare. I was instantly afraid of what was happening, even though I was 1,500 miles away in rural Texas.

It seemed like America stood still. I remember the uncertainty of knowing that President Bush had been spirited away to an unknown location for many hours for his protection. Planes were immediately grounded. It was almost spooky in our backyard, where we were used to seeing jets flying overhead all through the day.

President Bush ordered all flags flown at half staff for almost 3 weeks. During that time, new details surfaced daily about the men who crashed the planes, how they did it, why they did it, how many were killed, and stories of heroics before death.

A couple of weeks later, our town held their annual Pioneer Days festival. At the parade, all the veterans in the crowd were asked to gather around the flagpole while the national anthem was played. The American flag was raised slowly as the song played. The most touching part was when the flag reached the top of the pole as the words "our flag was still there" played, and then was lowered back to half staff while the song played to the end. It was a sad and solemn time as the entire town stood silent.

I remember the one bright spot in an otherwise dark time: renewed patriotism. Everyone showed their pride in America. Retail stores sold out of American flags. For my daughter, who had just begin a study on America, it was a living lesson on patriotism.

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.“ - President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

The motto after September 11th was "We will never forget." Let's make sure we don't.

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