Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

It must have happened 7 years ago. Emily is seven years old, now, and she was just a tiny baby that day.

We had lived in Pensacola, Florida for just over 6 months. It was our first ever military station. Nathan had just entered the Air Force and was in Pensacola for a year or so of flight training. Pensacola NAS is a beautiful base with some lovely historic buildings and homes. I loved seeing all the young sailors in their white hats waving cars onto the base. At that time we would drive up to the gate in our awesome brown Dodge Grand Caravan with the gold running boards, and the gate guards would see the stickers, snap out a salute, and we'd just coast on through without stopping. Easy peasy.

Things have changed.

On September 11, 2001, we were up stairs doing school work (I was home schooling Hannah) when Nathan showed up in the middle of the day. Very unusual. He came upstairs to find us and he couldn't even speak. He ended up writing it down. I still have that little paper telling me that two buildings had been hit...

Life on base changed immediately. Getting over the bridge and onto the base took hours while each car was searched. No more cute sailors in white. Guys in camo with big guns started doing the ID checks. One day that week, we took a little hike on the base out to look at the bayou, and as we were strolling along looking for wildlife, we saw a young marine staked out, watching for intruders. That scared me.

Today, I am typing this as soldiers are gathering for PT in the field behind our home. In a few minutes they will start shouting and counting. And in a few months 75% of the soldiers on our post will be deployed to one place or another.

We have not forgotten.

8 comments:

Butterfly Wife said...

We haven't forgotten either.

Mary said...

Such a sweet, sad post.

Marie said...

Our security is doing exercises, and so they are working under bravo conditions. Yesterday I pulled up and the guard had a huge gun and it scared the kids. Things have changed. We will never forget.

A Soldier's Wife..... said...

Corry was where I went to EW school, I love it there...I can imagine how life quickly changed there....

This day just haunts me...like so many others, I'm sure.

wendy said...

ASW - when we lived there, Sydney was 3. She would sing "Oh do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man. Oh do you know the muffin man who lives on Corry Station!"

Tori :) said...

So sad. This was 3 days before Sei and I got married. It just changed my perspective about everything.

God Bless America.

Rebecca said...

Hi,
I came across your blog recently. I think Google recommended you to me.
I used to live next to an army base, and before 9/11 it was so easy to get on base. My dad is a civilian who works on that base, and we used to go to the pool on base during the summers. After 9/11 things changed. We couldn't even get out of our neighborhood because of all the traffic trying to get on base. The cars would be backed up for miles. And we stopped making summer trips to the pool. Our world has changed a lot in 7 years.

Mary Peterson said...

James and I were in Enid, Okalahoma during pilot training when 9-11 happened. I happened to be watching TV that morning and saw the second tower get hit live. We didn't live on base so I was really scared that James was locked on the base. They put the whole base on lock down for most of the day. They wouldn't allow calls in or out. No one could get on or off the base. I was really scared.
Your post brought all of that back, so sad. I haven't forgotten either.
Thanks for the post.