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I canít help but think back to that morning in 2001. I was a young Coastie wife and mother of 2 small children at the time. I had recently started back to work at my first law firm and was getting myself and my children ready when I heard the news early that morning. I stopped dead in my tracks as the plane crash into the World Trade Center played over and over and over again. I sat holding my baby son and daughter in my arms trying to make sense of it all as I watched in disbelief and horror.
Knowing that my husband was in the military made me feel safer that morning, so I called out of work only to find that no one was going into work that day. I decided that I would load the kids up in my car and drive to San Pedro to be with my husband on base where we would all be safe. When I was able to finally reach my husband, he was talking 120 mph and had only a few moments to tell me that the base was the worst place for us to be. The base was on the highest terrorist threat alert and was shutting down all means of communication. No one was getting on or off the base and everyone was scrambling to scrape military base parking stickers off of the vehicles and they werenít allowed to wear uniforms coming onto or leaving the base because it wasnít safe, but the worst news he gave me that morning was that he didnít know if or when he was come home.
Like many of my fellow-Coastie wives, I spent 9/11 terrified and alone with my 2 small children. My life has never been easy, but 9/11 forever changed my view of the world.
I drove to work following 9/11 and, while I was stopped at a red light at the corner of Olympic and Bundy, I looked into the sky and paused. In that moment I realized that at any moment something tragic could happen killing everyone around meÖ and then all I could think about was how would I get to my children, who were at elementary school and family day care 8 miles away. I knew that only death would stop me from getting to my babiesÖ but would I be able to call My husband one last time to tell him how much I loved him and to hear his voice? What if he didn't answer? Would I have enough time to make him promise to tell the children everyday how much I loved them if I didn't make it? In that moment I caught a very tiny glimpse of what those people in the World Trade Center felt and it rocked me to my core. I had never felt fear before.
My anxiety was apparent after 9/11 and I went to counseling. I had lost my grandfather earlier that year and my grandmother had been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. The compilation of these 3 catastrophic tragedies was my breaking point. I was advised by my doctor to not watch the news anymore. They say ignorance is blissÖ but I digress, as the terrorists attacks continue and social media isnít as easy to avoid as the 6 o'clock news.
On this anniversary, I pay tribute to all those who lost their lives on 9/11 and to the people who suffered from the events and aftermath. I will never understand why religious extremists kill in the name of GodÖ religion at its core was created to foster peace, compassion, and brotherhood while providing ethical guidance and nurturing the inherent good in humanity, reflecting a generous and loving God.