While my friends were all at school, having started their day just like every other, I was at home, on the couch. The night before, I'd been taking some extra gymnastics lessons at school for cheerleading. I'd thrown my first backhandspring and when prompted by my coach throw a second one, it had all gone wrong. I psyched myself out and managed to break both my radius and my ulna. My mom had picked me up from school and driven me to the emergency room, where a doctor painfully set the bones and casted my arm. I was sent home sometime in the early hours of September 11, 2001, in a lot of pain and with a lot of good drugs to take off the edge.
My mom, in her sleep-deprived stupor, calmly reassured me that it must have been an accident of some sort and although tragic, was not something to trigger anxiety. Reassured and placated for the moment, I grabbed something to eat and went back to watching the news coverage from the comfort of my home.
I remember watching, seeing the second plane in the background, and thinking "Something's not right..." And as the second plane collided, I went and woke up my mom, "I don't think this was an accident."
We continued to watch the coverage and learn more as the events unfolded, more questions than answers. That day, New York and Pennsylvania and Wasshington D.C. seemed both so remote and yet, so close to home.
I admit, in the following week, stuck at home beause of my injury and with little to do besides watch tv, I became jaded. I'd seen every news report. Every story, every speculation, and every conjecture possible. Sometimes contradicting themselves within the same sentence. I became numb to the pain and will admit I eagerly begged my mother to bring home some movies from the video store because I was sick of watching the coverage.
But it is important to remember that day. So poignant in so many of our lives. Every generation has a date that stands out for them. Pearl Habor. When Kennedy was shot. The moon landing. The explosion of space shuttle Challenger. For my generation, September 11th is that day. It's hard to imagine having to explain the importance of that date to someone with no memory of the day's event. And yet there is no one today who's life has not been impacted by it, even subtly.
Today I am planning on participating in a wonderful event, hosted here, locally in Nashville, and across our nation called 11 on the 11th. Today, Americans from all corners will run, walk, and bike 11 miles as a tribute to those lives we lost and to those whose lives were forever changed on September 11, 2001. I am so excited to participate in this event, to honor that day and also to provide support for Operation Enduring Warrior and Team Red, White, and Blue. These two charitable organizations both work to provide support and services to our nation's veterans and do tremendous work in communities all over.
This is virtual event, so if you feel so inclined to participate, please feel free to sign up and log your miles to show your support and to honor this day. I figure it's the very least we can do.