America the Beautiful

I’ve been thinking a lot today about the events that unfolded sixteen years ago on this very day.  September 11, 2001.

Given current events, the news didn’t have much air time to remind us of the tragedy that unfolded and the heroes that emerged on that pivotal day in our history.  I was saddened, thinking… what if this is the beginning of us forgetting.  The line in the sand where September 11 becomes a chapter or a paragraph in a history book rather than something we suffered through, learned from and grew stronger by.

But really, in the wake of Harvey and midst of Irma, our country is coming together in very much the same way as it did so many years ago.  Neighbors helping neighbors and strangers helping strangers.  People putting aside their race, religion, gender, political affiliation and differences to help one another.  Children are hosting bake sales and businesses are filling trucks with water and supplies.  People are opening their homes to mere acquaintances of friends and first responders are bravely entering treacherous and unknown situations.

And I felt so incredibly proud to be an American.  We have not forgotten.

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

As far as the storm goes, I have heard from friends and family across Florida and all are safe with minimal to no damage to their property.  Sister has been receiving harrowing pictures of flooding from Tybee but doesn’t have any update on her home there.  Mother and Daddy-O have received news that their home is fine with no damage as of this evening. We only had about 1″ of rain here in Atlanta and it seemed to be windier here yesterday than today, but the night is still young.  Others in Atlanta have not fared so well as I keep seeing reports of lots of trees coming down. The kids have another day off school tomorrow.

I truly hope that all of YOU and yours are safe and sound.  Please update me with your status when you can. My heart goes out to all who have lost so much.



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20 thoughts on “America the Beautiful

  1. I’m SO glad to hear your family (and property) are all safe!

    We’ve had about 45mph winds and have been without power since mid-day. We have had trees down in the woods, but thankfully none of the big trees near the house have sustained damage. There are power lines down in the road here, with huge oak trees down on our road, GA HWY 83 and US HWY 78: thbakfully there’s been no property damage and we have a propane camp stove.

    I’m thankful it hasbt Ben worse although I agree with Honey that the worst for us will be during the night tonight: and if we’re wrong, I’m okay with being an over-reactor! xo

    1. I’m glad you are safe. I fear more trees will come down over night. Power outages are bad but I know you will pull through. <3

  2. So glad you and your family are safe and sound. So far so good here in Upstate SC. Lots of wind and rain with the worst of it to come tonight. Our school district is on a 2 hour delay tomorrow as of now. Fingers crossed that we have an uneventful evening and everyone can go back to a normal, pre-hurricane routine soon!

  3. Glad to hear you are safe! I saw the news report from the Atlanta area and it looked like there were a lot of trees down. Hopefully, the worst is over. And I was thinking some of the same thoughts today. Is this the beginning of us forgetting? I am sure the hurricane craziness has overshadowed the 9/11 memorials, maybe that’s why it seemed different. Though, this was the first year I didn’t have the TV on in the background while all the names were being read. At what point does 9/11 just become a part of history like other tragedies such as Pearl Harbor? Even though we will never forget, maybe the pain gets less each year. Maybe it’s a good thing because it helps us move on. Now we can help each other in the aftermath of the hurricanes and other disasters down the road. As long as we keep the spirit of “never forgetting” we will never truly forget. Lots to think about today. Prayers for the people who have a long road ahead.
    xo Shelley

  4. Thank you for your sweet prayers. I am glad your parent’s home is safe and will pray for Sister. Thank goodness you are all okay.

    I promise not to write a book this time (!) but wanted to say there are NO hotels for my brother to move to from his spot in Kissimmee. If you Google the Florida power outage maps, you will see how wide spread the problem is. He cannot go home because of it and I feel so bad for him. It’s simply too far to go to family in Tampa after the marathon drive he went through and he has his two precious cats with him.

    Please everyone, continue to keep millions in your prayers. We are incredibly grateful that everyone got through Irma but so many simply want and need to go home and back to their lives.

    1. I know. I am watching the coverage from the keys right now. It’s tragic. Praying that your brother makes his way home safely.

      1. I bet the boys were hoping for the lizard! ;-)

        My brother is finally on his way home! They said yesterday that he wouldn’t have power until into next week…but many prayers were answered.

        Thank you, A! <3

  5. By the time Irma reached NoAla, she was about stormed out for which I am grateful. My son in Canton said that they had a lot of wind and I have not heard anything about our Vacation home in Murray County so hoping all is well there. Our Savannah relatives who stayed are all ok. My nephew’s beach house is part of old Fort Screven and it has made it through many storms so hoping it is ok.( It is on Van Horne St near the Lighthouse). My sis in law is still waiting to see if she has a home to go home to in Big Pine Key. It is heartbreaking to see all the devastation there. Glad all your family and friends are safe. I totally agree that the same spirit we saw in our country 16 years ago is alive and well today.

  6. So glad to hear that you and your family are safe. My mom and brother live 45 miles from where Irma made landfall on Marco Island. And remarkably , too, are safe with no damage to their house. We have had an incredibly windy and rainy day here in South Carolina but thankful that the only loss we had was power. Thanks to the linemen who go out on dark, stormy nights so we woke up to electricity.

    1. Amen to the linemen and all support behind them! A dear family friend is on a crew from Indiana…they slept in their trucks one night. Most of them are retired but they stepped up to help. God bless them.

  7. I am so glad to hear that y’all are all ok! I was just wondering about you and your family!!!

    With reference to 9/11, I don’t think I can ever forget it. Every year, around 9-11, I make myself re-read about it and watch the live footage. Every year, I look at the photos from our first visit back to the city after it happened. I went to NYC in 1997 for my AOII International Convention and I vividly remember driving under the WTC towers and thinking of the huge shadow they cast on the streets and area below. I have photos of the them, too, from that trip. Then, just a few years later, right after 9/11, we went to visit friends who lived in Montclair, NJ and we went to the city for the day to go to a Knicks game, etc. and we drove through lower Manhattan, down the same road, and the shadow was no longer there. And that’s when it hit me and I broke down. Then, we saw the giant, gaping hole that was still being cleaned up, with all of the photos and messages for those that were lost, and I realllllly lost it. I have a friend who lost her FIL — he worked in one of the towers. I was so sick that day with the stomach flu and I remember being deliriously tired from being up all night, sick. And when the first plane hit, I thought it was a nightmare since I felt so awful. Then, when the second one hit, I knew it wasn’t a bad dream. The one thing I took from 9/11, and then 4 years later, from Katrina, was that in the midst of the most awful, harrowing experiences, you will see the best of people. My neighbors were part of the Gumbo Krewe, they went up to NY every weekend and cooked Jambalaya and Gumbo, etc. for the cleanup crews and the fire fighters and police. They have a small portion of the metal recovered from the towers in their house, as a thank you from NYPD and FDNY. IIt felt good to know that they could help. Then, 4 years later, FDNY came down and HELPED US after Katrina. It shows you that you are right, when tragedies and catastrophes happen, people don’t pay attention to religion, race, politics, etc. Everyone wants to HELP…. and I hold on to that every day– it restores my faith in humanity. Sometimes I look at those situations and tell myself that maybe things happen this way to remind us that we are all humans and need each other!

    Sorry for the novel, I get long winded when I get emotional. :)

    1. Sweet Andie. Thank you for sharing your story. I never even heard of the Gumbo Crew. How amazing. I have not yet been back to NYC after 9/11 but head there in November. <3

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