When the World Stopped Turning

May 2, 2011

We remember. And for a while the world will remember but a generation or two from now will not remember so clearly, and perhaps it will become more of a footnote like Pearl Harbor Day. We have closure now too.

In 2001 DH was a newly promoted 1st without a permanent ship assignment. He was the “Go To…” guy–as in Go to here and then Go to there. That summer was a long one. DH’s unpredictable schedule was an adjustment and T1 was barely a year old. When DH was home we had to loan him out to his parents to help with the driving to see his ailing grandfather. We were also trying to fit in a family trip to see his other grandmother knowing he would be going back to work around the middle of September.

In August DH got a “Go to…” to cover one of the permanent 1st’s who had a tragic loss in the family. It would be for two weeks. Of course DH went. I remember when DH’s mother was trying to pin down dates and plans for our cross-country trip she actually suggested 1 hotel room. I remember being “Um, no, I really do not want to share a room when I haven’t seen much of my husband this whole summer and he’ll have just gotten back from two weeks out.” Needless to say, we got separate rooms–I like saving money but not at the expense of some “things”.

This two-week trip then pushed DH’s return date toward the end of September. T1 was taking a baby swim class and DH was the parent in the water while I was upstairs on the ellipticals and bicycles. The TV monitors began reporting the tragic events of 9/11.

It was a long and mind-numbing day. In the back of my mind DH’s original call-back date would float to the surface and I would try to squelch it before I would also add that he would have been on a cross-country flight. In the days that followed DH heard from co-workers who were delayed getting home or getting back to work. DH wasn’t even sure he’d be able to fly when his new call-back date came up.

When travel restrictions were lifted, DH had other issues to contend with–all those TSA regulations. The guys without permanent ships would carry their gear to and from trips–tools, steel-toed boots, expensive job-specific items–but now they raised flags for every TSA official. You didn’t want to check those items because if your bags got lost you couldn’t work. Solutions were going to have to be found.

The delay also gave DH some extra time with his grandfather. I remember not being happy that DH went to see him instead of going to a pumpkin patch with T1 and me. It turns out that it was his last time to see him. I would end up making yet another phone call two months later. (See Writing Workshop: Bad News Travels Slowly.)

And we have come full-circle. I am relieved we as a nation have some closure. I am relieved we went the distance and we have the brave unnamed heroes who carried this out. There are always unintended consequences and we do not know how this will play out but I hope it continues to strengthen our resolve to end terrorism. It could very well strengthen the resolve of the remaining terrorists too and we will need to be ready for that consequence.

God Bless America and the men and women who fight to protect and keep her free.



  1. Hi! I’m a new follower! Love your blog! Found ya through Mama Kat!

  2. […] mentioned before that the Chief had his leave extended for at least two weeks because he filled in for someone else who had a tragic death in the family […]

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