Saturday, May 13, 2006

A 9/14 Memory of Manhattan

Whatever you're planning to do in the next few minutes, stop. Click the link above, and grab a tissue.

My favorite redhead is sharing a memory of going back into the city for the first time after. Truly, it's important to read.

The immediate aftermath of the collapse of the towers sent my husband and me home for a few days. The city of Cleveland was closed. Mayor Mike White was criticized about it later, but I think he made the right decision. A tremendous amount of air traffic uses the local controller station (actually located in Oberlin, OH), the last thing we needed was extra people around, and the governments (local, state, and federal) needed some breathing room.

We had just started new jobs at the same school, so depended on each other for support in those days. Once we returned, we focused on getting the school opened. For a time, we were putting in 12-14 hour days at work. That was truly a blessing, as it kept our minds off our children, two of whom were in the service (Navy and National Guard). After the first few days, my memory is a little hazy. Details have disappeared over time. But, I do remember the concern about our kids didn't diminish. We didn't talk about it, except to reassure each other that they would be all right. I kept the fear inside.

Somewhere in the next few weeks, I remember going home on a Friday, intending to take a short nap (about 5:00). I woke up on Saturday, and ran to the bathroom (barely made it). I had slept 16 hours straight. Apparently, I needed the shutdown time.

I was so impatient to strike back. The pace of planning the invasion seemed glacial. I was fully aware that the mopping-up part of the operation would be the most prolonged. I'm old enough to remember listening to European refugees talk about years after the war, how the rubble still remained. So, the fact that winning the war wasn't wham, bam, thank you m'am doesn't surprise me.

I feel confident that, after we are done in Iraq, we'll have another little job to do. We may have to chase those little cockroaches around for a while. Along the way, we'll help people take control of their own country. We might not have had to do that if we'd not spent so much time trying to form "multi-national" teams with the UN in previous conflicts.

I'm peeved at Bush right now over the border thing. But that doesn't mean I'll be voting to sweep clean in November. We really can't afford to give the appeasing fools moonbats opposition another crack at screwing up this war.

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