When we're young, there are lots of life experiences we go through, that we don't fully understand until we're older. (how's that for vague) But when I was little, I can remember hearing my parents say "you'll understand when you're older", or now feeling like I'll experience something and think, oh that's why my parents said that. As I age and experience more things as an adult, I begin to appreciate and reevaluate the things I've gone through growing up. Ones of those things is this day, September 11th.
I'm sure all around blog land and really everywhere today we will see images from this day, hear stories about where people were when they heard, and begin to relive the history that most of us have a part of our stories. Seeing the events unfold those thirteen years ago on TV, getting sent home from school early, watching the President's address to the nation that night on TV with my parents, and hearing the amazing stories or heroism that day will forever be engrained in my memory. But I could never expect those thirteen years ago, to feel the connection that I feel now. I can barely make it through on the the history channel specials about September 11th without crying, I feel this amazing sense of pride and honor when I hear the stories of heroism and the first responders, and I have a personal reason to worry.
On September 11th, 2001, I was in 8th grade, living in Upstate New York. Never in a million years could I have guessed that 13 years later I would be living in Oregon and married to a firefighter paramedic. I used to be amazed and shocked that first responders would so bravely risk their lives at the drop of a hat to save others. That was until I met my husband, who I know without a doubt would do the same, and does every day at work. To him, it's just what he does. It's subconscious, and just his job. He doesn't do it for the recognition or the praise, to Dan, it's the same as anyone else's job, it's work. Most of the time, I try not to think about all the details of his daily job, it's easier for me that way (and probably him too because I bother him less). I know I couldn't do his job. My actions and life are dictated by my emotions, and I would struggle to turn those emotions off and be able to walk away from one call and respond to the next. I'm thankful there are people like him who are able to do that.
So while I watch all the remembrance specials and think about all lives lost on that day thirteen years ago, I'm proud to be married to someone who I know would do the same given the opportunity. I'm thankful for all the first responders and military who keep us safe at home and oversees on a daily basis. And I'm hopeful that people take the time to remember what today means.