Friday, September 10, 2010

Remembering 9/11

I just had to share this even if I don’t want to. I do it to honor those lost on 9/11.

My family was on a week long vacation at Disneyland September, 2001. We had 3 more days left on our vacation. We were staying at my brother’s house near Disneyland. The park was beautiful as usual. We had stopped in at Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and we were the only people there. We saw the Electrical Parade and loved it as usual. We commented that the final float, Salute to America, was missing ½ of its sections. No one stood and cheered when the Salute to America came by. There were no patriotic pins, shirts or banners to be found. I was told it was not the 4th of July so they were not in stock.

9/11 we were getting ready for another day of fun when my sister-in-law came into our room and told us to come see what was on TV. We watched in horror as they showed over and over the 1st plane and then the 2nd plane hit the Twin Towers and then the Towers fell. We cried and prayed for the families and friends who lost people.

After a short time my husband knew he had to report to work. He works at a Trauma center in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, Ca. He is part of the disaster response team as well as a working as a Respiratory Therapist. He needed to be at work just in case there was more attacks. Due to his training he knew a little about the type of targets terrorists would wish to hit. The list includes Disneyland.

After working that day and the next we decided to go back to Disneyland. When we got there we were meet at the gate by security. This was new and at first felt wrong! They stopped us and asked very politely to check our bags. There were no tables to set things on and it was not easy to get through. To go from one park to another you had to have your bag checked at each park. With the two parks so close it was frustrating but worth it for the added feeling of safety.

There was something else we noticed besides the added security. Main Street, and every other area was covered in Red, White and Blue! There were patriotic shirts, pins and other items everywhere. People were all dressed up in Red, White and Blue. Everybody called out, “HELLO” to anybody near. People were reaching out to each other. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was packed! We had to wait for a couple of shows before we could get in! At the end of Lincoln’s address the entire audience stood and applauded! We went to see the Electrical Parade again. We waited in anticipation for the Salute to America float to come down the street. Now it was back to full length! This time everyone stood and cheered!! The dancers escorting the float seemed to kick their feet a little higher. It was deafening! It felt good! It felt right!

Nine years later the crowds to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln are less but still more than before. They don’t applaud as loud but there is still respect. The last time I saw the Electrical Parade (last year) the Salute to America was still at full length even though many other parts of the parade had been removed. People still clapped and cheered but again not as loud. Instead of taking down the Red, White and Blue bunting after July 4th, it was still up until after Labor Day. You can always find patriotic pins, shirts and other items in the park.

It was right for us to go back on 9/13. It was right for us because it helped us heal. People said we were disrespectful and selfish. We see it differently. The terrorists want us to be afraid. Disneyland is on the hit list because if they can hit it they will make us afraid to do anything. We refused to live in fear. We refused to stop enjoying life. We honor the lives of the men and women who lost their lives by living our lives to the fullest and not allowing the terrorists win by stopping us. So today, 9 years later, don’t let them win by continuing to live in fear and hate. Live life, love and care for others. Never forget what happened 9/11 but don’t let it control your life. We need to remember the lesson learned that day and understand that there are people who hate our country. We need to live with a new level of awareness of our surroundings and what is going on. We don’t need to lived with distrust and hate of those who are different or that worship the same god as those who attacked. Not all Muslims are evil. It is not the religion it is the radical fringe.

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