On this day 14 years ago, I was a 21 year old brand new mom, serving overseas on active duty. I remember standing there, surrounded by fellow soldiers, watching as the second plane hit the towers, and watching the news about the plane that hit the Pentagon, and another that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania . The events of this day shook me to my core, not only because of the terror behind what happened, but because my parents and sister had flown back from Germany mere days before. And because my baby, only weeks old, wasn't where I could get to her right away. The base had been put on high alert, and she was in day care off-post. Terrified doesn't begin to cover it when you realize that there's a possibility that your base could be targeted, due to being overseas, and you can't reach your child. It must have been how my parents felt when they couldn't reach me right away.
Life as we knew it changed that day. In the days that followed, we watched the death toll rise. In the weeks and months that followed, we watched as families buried loved ones and the clean up process at the WTC began. In the year and half or so that followed, I helped, then watched, as watched men and women around me prepared and deployed. Helped as my unit worked around the clock, working the railhead to send vehicles, weapons and supplies to the battlefield. And sat helpless as news came back of friends dying in war. My thoughts are with them, with those who lost their lives on this day 14 years ago, and with the families of them all. Let us never forget.