Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. So many lives were lost and so many have been changed forever as a result of the terrorist attacks of that day.
I remember being a student at Weber State University and sitting in my car waiting to head to class when the reports of the first plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers was broadcast. And the sadness that hit at that moment, not even fully realizing that it was not just a horrible accident.
Then, sitting in my class, browsing the Internet and seeing another plane crash and then the collapse of the towers and the other incredibly sad and poignant events of that day.
Going home and watching the events occur over and over again on the television. Feeling pain at so many lives lost. Wondering how I could explain this to my children. Crying with my children over the horrors of the day.
While I did not personally lose a loved one in the attacks that day, there was an incredible feeling of sorrow at the cruelty of these attacks. I cannot say why it is more horrific to have man-made attacks take lives than cruel acts of nature, to me the events of this day hit home and changed my life forever.
Ten years down the road I look at how my life has changed. I never envisioned one of my children joining the military and I never envisioned them becoming a military spouse. Yet my daughter fell in love with an Army sargeant and I have since learned how being in the military affects not only the person but also their spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters, and even in-laws.
My son-in-law sacrificed many years of custody of his children and time with them in order to serve his country. He and my daughter will both have to deal with loneliness and challenges when he is on deployments. How many of us do not even appreciate what these men, women and their families deal with in order to protect our country?
As I led the closing song in church today (America the Beautiful), I had tears streaming down my cheeks thinking of how proud I am to be an American and also how proud I am to understand better the sacrifices that are made for this great land.
Thank you to all the men and women serving in the Armed Forces and to their families for the sacrifices and service they make. Thank you also to the members of the Police and Fire Departments throughout this land who put their lives on the line every day for people they have never met.