Friday, September 23, 2011

September 11th, 2001

It is in great reverence that I write this entry.

In Sandy, there was a display of flags - each one representing someone who died in the attacks on 9.11.2001 - and a note describing the person. Eric and I went and visited the display and this was our experience.
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It's a quiet, beautiful day at the field of flags. The site is absolutely amazing to see.

As we approach the display, I say to Eric, "Wow. The people who put this up are amazing. It must have taken SO long to write a story for each person, and then come and put it all together."

(There were so many flags I couldn't even fit them all in one picture. Above you're looking at one side of the field, and below you're looking at the other side of the flags - and this was several pictures smashed together.)
After my remark, Eric turns and says, "look how many people died."


After that, it hit me like a ton of bricks how sad of a day 9.11 was for the families who lost their loved ones.

For people who were in all these places in the signs below, died...

and the people they left behind had their worlds shattered.

*I remember clearly the day of the attacks. I lived in WA, I was 15, and a junior in high school. I had been in seminary all morning so I hadn't heard what was going on. When I got to school, I remember people talking about a plane running into the World Trade Center. I thought they meant a small jet plane. It wasn't until my 4th class of the day, that our history teacher talked to us about what was really going on and showed us what had happened.
I was heartbroken for those people. I remember feeling like things were going to get much worse - that this was the beginning of a war on America. I remember feeling lost and confused about what might happen next.

I remember getting home and seeing that my mom was still trying to make my sister's birthday special. I remembered being very grateful for the family I have. I remember making sure I told everybody I loved them very much.*

As I continue walking through the flags, I think of how mean, how harsh, how stupid the people who crashed those planes could be. While the flags are whipping in the wind, I think about how we let those terrorists live (for a short or long period of time) in our country - and this is how they decide to treat us? This is how they show our country that they are grateful to live here?
And then I turn and look at my husband - who is going through and reading all the notes on each flag...
- notes for every single person who died -
-EVERY. single. one.-
-The first field is 28 flags wide and 43 flags long. That's not a small amount.-



-To go through each tag would take hours on end - how I wish we had the time that day to do so-

And I see that he is crying.

*My experience of 9.11 was watching from far away. I didn't know anybody who died.
Eric was there though. Experiencing it with his peers. He knows people who worked there - and weren't killed. It meant something completely different to him than it did to me.*

And I watch him. And I think about what would have happened if for some reason, this was now, and he was there, and he was not in my life.

And I begin to mourn for those people who lost their loved ones that day.

As we cross the short stretch of road to get to the second field, we pass this...
and get to this.
Through this next side of flags, we see signs for the milestones of our country. I remember how lucky we are to live here.
As we finish walking through the flags and reading the notes, Eric turns to me and says, "Everybody was right in the middle of life. They weren't in a war throwing grenades and one hit them - they were just eating breakfast, or in a meeting."

And again, I think, how did someone do this to us?

After the field of flags, we drive over to this statue they made remembering the famous picture of the three firefighters.




And again, I think of all the people we lost that day - some who were just trying to help other people live.

So...

Remember the day we lost so many... and stood together...
For you can't ruin America. You can't tear us down. We will rise together. We will stand as a country together. We will serve. We will love everyone. We will mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort.

America is beautiful. America is great. America is my country and I feel so blessed to be living here. I feel so blessed for my freedoms, and the people who try so hard to give those freedoms to us.
We love you America and will forever remember what it means to live here.

I am PROUD to be an american.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jersey 2011: The rest of our trip

Rachel and Brian graciously let us stay with them for the rest of our trip. One day, Rach and I went and made these birthday plates.

Rachel's plate:
My plate:
One night, we went to the pub with my friend Rebecca, her boyfriend, and Aunt Chris. Bexter's boyfriend got this EIGHTEEN ounce steak... he ate the ENTIRE thing.
My little nephew - Jackson
My other little nephew - Evan
On our way to the Phillie's game, we went and saw where Rebecca works. How cool is this?!
A lot of their new inventions use the xbox kinect to see - it's so cool!

One of the robots:
Rebecca's signage for her office
Rebecca!
Bexter and me
THE PHILLIES! I LOVE to go to games in person. SO FUN.

I'm pretty much a good luck charm at their games. The first time I ever went to one of their games, I saw the Liberty Bell start dinging and thought it was so cool! I said, "Eric! Please make them do it again!" And he said "They can't just do it again." And I just kept saying they needed to, and they made THREE homeruns in a row!!! Eric was shocked.
So, did they win? Uh, heck yes! Me = good luck charm. Duh.

Saying bye to Jackson.
Saying bye to Evan.
And riding to the airport with Brennan.
And then we got on a plane and flew home!

Thanks everybody for letting us come out and hang with you all!

Next up: My tribute (although late) to September 11th.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jersey 2011: The Boardwalk

One night we went to the boardwalk and had a tons of fun. I also got to watch them make taffy!






Nearing the end of the night, Noelle really wanted to go on this ride - so off we went.
A movie for your viewing pleasure. :)

More Jersey fun later!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jersey 2011: The Shore

This year we went to the shore for half of the time, then to Jersey for the rest. It was very relaxing - especially after all that yard work.

The shore in pictures:


The babies gotta go back and eat/sleep.


Eric told me he needed to have as many cheesesteaks as possible. I think he had them almost every day.

They dug this hole as entertainment for the children - I think it was really entertainment for Eric who HAD to make the hole bigger.

This cool octopus people made out of sand.





Cool dude.
Old Maid - I wish I lived near Nat and the kids, so we could always play games!
Very creative use of the boogie boards - which are SO fun by the way.


I love that the twins always have matching outfits.

More about the rest of Jersey later!