I was in college at the time and first heard the news as I was driving to class. I was listening to the X96 morning show and they were talking about it. I didn’t know what was going on at first because I turned the radio on in the middle of the conversation. It didn’t take long. I went to class. I think BYU might have cancelled classes later in the day but I know I went to mine that morning. We didn’t have tv at home so I didn’t see much coverage. I do remember walking through the bookstore and there were a lot of people standing in front of the tv’s watching the coverage there. It hit me then that some of them might be from New York.
I remember the feeling as the days and weeks went on. The unity that was felt. I also remember the fund raisers. Hearing story after story of the money people had been saving for a special occasion that they were now giving away.
As we stop 10 years later to remember the tragedy, I have heard much about how our country was changed that day and in the years following. One of the changes I’ve noticed is the way we treat members of our armed forces. My husband has been in the National Guard since 1996. I didn’t meet him until a few weeks after 9-11 but he told me that before then he didn’t like to wear his uniform anywhere because of the reaction it got out of people. He would be jeered at and made fun of.
He still doesn’t like to wear his uniform anywhere because of the reaction he gets but now it’s a much different reaction. The jeers and jokes have turned to thanks and praise. He has had meals bought for him on more than one occasion. The other night at our sons soccer game a gentleman came from a few fields over to thank him for his service.
He spent a year in Iraq. When they were coming home the airport terminal in Texas was filled with people holding signs and cheering for them. He wasn’t the only one to get teary eyed at the welcome. This happened on a daily basis for all of the soldiers returning to American soil. Everyday people volunteered their day to go support our troops.
While I will never be grateful for the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I will be grateful for the good that it brought out of our nation. While it seems much of that good has faded over the last 10 years, some of it has remained and that is what I will remember on this day.