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Posted By Rebecca Parkey on 09/07/2021

Twenty Years-Lest We Forget

Twenty Years-Lest We Forget

Starting at the beginning of the month, my husband and I have begun watching several of the documentaries that have started coming out on all of the different streaming services about September 11, 2001. It has been 20 years. Twenty years since we lost thousands and thousands of lives. Twenty years since we went to war. Twenty years since we started this journey. 

Here are some takeaways that I have:

  • Those of us who experienced it, whether through viewing it on television, knowing people, being there first hand, being a first responder, a veteran who responded to the call to action, etc. will never forget.
    • On that note, we will never let our children forget
  • That day, while there were people who were attacking our nation, there were thousands upon thousands more in our nation who were coming together out of love to help one another.
    • When the chips are down, when we really need one another, we respond.
  • We had absolutely no way of knowing what toll it was going to take, no crystal ball, and no matter who was in the president's shoes, we were at war.
    • President George W Bush did what he had to do, with the limited information that he had. Just as we all do what we do with the limited information that we have.

Each of these bullet points are important and I want to dive briefly into how each of these impact all of us now.  Chase, my sweet husband and I have, like I said, been watching documentaries that have come out on several different streaming services.  Each one of them have unique perspectives and many of them have brand new footage that is never before seen. Honestly, all I have done while watching them for the last couple of weeks is leak from my eyes. It's odd, I actually am unable to stop myself from leaking. I am not actively sobbing the entire time, but during the entirety of the documentaries, out of the corner of my eyes, sometimes just one eye, my eye/s leak. I think it is my body's way of expelling sadness, pain, memory. Each year we talk about it with our daughter, she knows that I coerced her to not be born until the 12th because I went into labor on the 11th in 2009. I went into labor in the morning of the 11th and had her at 1AM on the 12th. To us, remembering what happened on the 11th and teaching our daughter about history isn't just a duty, it is a privilege.  

 The second bullet point may be the most important one that I feel like we often forget. I remember that day like it was yesterday, but I also remember the days and weeks after. I remember the footage being played on the television sets non-stop. I remember my college classes being shut down and professors and friends leaving school because they had loved ones in the towers or on the planes. But what I remember most of all is that everyone went back to church. Everyone prayed for one another. People from all over the country went to New York to help pull people out of the rubble. Our nation came together and instead of hate, we found love for one another. There was stray groups that found reasons to show hate towards the Muslim community that was awful for them. That was completely horrific for the poor families and people who lived here who had done nothing wrong and I am still saddened by this.  But for the majority of people, and the majority of our country, we came together, we prayed, held vigils, and helped one another. Love overpowered the horrific pain and anguish that was happening. In fact it wasn't just our country, it was the world that stood by us and stood for America in our darkest hour. What I hope we remember and what I hope we continue to work towards is love, and that when we are at the most difficult of times, we have the power to overcome darkness by turning to light.

From the final bullet, the point I want to make, (not making this political) is that we lost more people that day then we lost in Pearl Harbor. There was little to nothing that the President of the United States could do except accept this as an act of war. It was obvious to everyone watching the television, listening to the media, and across party lines. There was no possible way of looking into a crystal ball and knowing that twenty years later we would still be fighting that war, but that day, we were at war. What has ensued since then has been twenty years of veterans who signed up originally to fight for something they 100 percent believed in. They knew that day that something tragic happened and they wanted to defend our freedom and that hasn't changed, no matter the political climate. One thing that I haven't forgotten in the twenty years, and one thing only recently I truly started to understand, is how lucky I am.  Right now there are people trapped in Afghanistan. There are Americans, Afghans who helped aide us in the war, Christians, women and children, and countless others who are not safe from the Taliban regime. My prayers go out to all of those people who are still there. I know God put me in this place, the place that I am now, in this time for a reason and it is to help others. He has given me a gift and a purpose. That does not mean that people in Afghanistan do not have their own purpose. We had a purpose while we were there. Who knows what the future will hold. But it is so important that we remember that there are people who matter beyond our borders, as well as people who we can help here at home. Never forget how completely and utterly blessed you are, we are. NEVER forget that God has a purpose in your life and you are blessed to be in the nation that you don't have to worry about serving the God you love. I can live in a Nation that will allow me to post this. 

Most importantly, I will never forget what happened on that day.

9/11: Inside the President’s War Room — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

WORTH Trailer (2021) Michael Keaton, 9/11 Attacks

9/11: One Day in America Trailer | National Geographic

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