Today – there will be pictures of flags, and the twin towers with smoke or with the Statue of Liberty, and “never forget” clips. Today – we will all take a minute and remember how we heard, what we saw. Today – the military community will remember the upheaval in our lives, the changes we never foresaw on Sept. 10th. Today- maybe the country will change their focus and think about the veterans. That’s what today SHOULD be.
What will really happen today? The news commentators will put on their deep solemn voices and look into the camera with a stern look and waffle on about a local event being done for remembrance. Two minutes later they will perk up and tell us about the traffic, or the weather, or a cute puppy story. For a second, you’ll be mad – how DARE they make so little of it. Life does go on. For us, in this little bubble of a military community, we have a multitude of reminders. The embroidered prayer rug commemorating a deployment; the missed “big days” of every family; the wounds – visible or not- that are a constant presence in our homes; the friends we made and lost in the last 13 years of high deployment tempo, moves, online connections.
Should we continue to “remember” with solemn ceremonies? Will the two minutes that someone takes to change their cover photo to a mourning eagle or a firefighter’s helmet draped in black truly mean they understand? I don’t have an answer to that.
Today – in our house? We’re packing to move, and the boxes that impede our walking in the house are filling and being taped shut. The anticipation of the move and the myriad of “must do” tasks to get us ready for the Two Marines Movers tomorrow are dominant in my mind. But as I pack that embroidered prayer rug and move another trunk of old uniforms out of my way – I don’t need Charlie Rose to remind me to remember. Our lives changed utterly and completely that day, even if we didn’t know it or realize how much. Are we still being impacted? Yes, sometimes I don’t recognize that prior me or him. Where would we be if it hadn’t happened, if we hadn’t declared/not declared war? Who knows.
Today – yes, I’ll remember. And then I will pick up another pair of shoes and put them in a box and try to figure out where I left the tape gun now. Because we have to move forward and get things done. We can’t sit and watch commemoration TV shows all day – and even if we could, I don’t think we would. Mourning friends, mourning the sons and fathers, daughters and mothers lost is the right thing to do. Getting on with life as we have to NOW live it, is right for us too. We remember what today is, what it meant and what it means.