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  • Writer's pictureSue Bowles

9/11/01 – NEVER FORGET

My guess is it’s in the back our all our minds..where were you when _______? I was at work – a new job…only 7 months (almost to the date)…learning the ropes when suddenly my life as I knew it stood still. I heard the news…the first plane. Then the 2nd. Then the Pentagon. And Pennsylvania. Somehow selling doors wasn’t that big of a deal when I didn’t know if my brother was buried in the rubble of the Pentagon. My sister in PA only lives 40 miles from the crash site. It could’ve happened in her back yard!

It was 6 L O N G hours before we finally got word from my sister – Steve was OK. When we FINALLY got in touch w/ him his first words were ‘No, I didn’t go the Pentagon. Today.’ He worked at the Air National Guard HQ 2 blocks from the Pentagon & regularly – sometimes daily – would walk the underground tunnels connecting his office to the Pentagon. As my sister says, we experienced for 6 hours what families of the victims felt much longer than that….but their emptiness became permanent.

Regardless of what you think of the war….regardless of what you think about politics….thank a serviceman or servicewoman – not just today, but ANY day! I had the pleasure of being in the Atlanta airport last year and a large number of soldiers were on their way home for leave. What a wonderful opportunity to just say ‘thank you’ to as many as I could muster up the courage to interrupt. Their response was always a humble ‘you’re welcome’ or a ‘my pleasure – thank you.’ Never a bad word or temperament or attitude. Only a brief touch with the ‘realness’ of one person for whom they lay their life on the line.

Never forget. Because they always remember why. And we should too.

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