I was in bed. My co-worker called. "Turn on your television, right now!"
I watched in horror. Monstrous plumes of smoke, a landmark in ruins, rising death tolls. I didn't go to work that day. Held my children. Wept.
I was raised in a very patriotic family. My father was a Special Forces Green Beret in Vietnam. My mother regularly organizes groups to write letters to soldiers. We put our hands over our hearts when the flag is honored, we take off our hats. We sing the national anthem. Every word.
Today I write this to honor those lost in battle. The battles in New York, the Pentagon, in PA. In Vietnam, in Korea, in the muddy trenches in Europe. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and other fronts across the globe. I honor you.
And to those still out there: thank you. Thank you for fighting to preserve the freedoms I enjoy. Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice your life for me, for my children, for all of us. Thank you for going out there so that I can sleep safe in my bed, the way I was that early morning nine years ago.