Like most Americans I remember what I was doing on September 1, 2001. Just like I remember what I was doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated and later when the space shuttle exploded. Both events were momumental in my life but 9/11 stands out the most for me.
There are two reasons for this. On that day in 2001 my daughter, Cinderella was serving our nation as an MP in the United States Army. Not long after Cinderella graduated from high school she informed us she wanted to join the Army. It didn’t really surprise me because she is not your average girl. She made the boy’s wrestling team in high school after watching her older brother LCpl Honda wrestle. She turned to me at her brother’s first match and said, “I am going to do that next year Mom.” Ah ok, I said. Well she made good on that statement and managed to pin a few boys along the way. So joining the Army made sense.
The second reason this date will live in my infamy forever is my son. LCpl Honda was born on September 11th. This was part of the reason he joined the Marines. His birthday is forever ruined by the fact that over 3,000 people lost their lives and our American world was forever changed.
So on that date like a lot of people I was getting ready for work and sort of half paying attention to the news. I remember seeing the reports of a plane hitting the first tower and not thinking too much of it until I saw the second plane hit the second tower. At that point I knew something was very wrong. I called to my youngest son, Hippy Guy, a teenager at the time, who was getting ready for school “I think we are being attacked.” I said. We then watched in horror as the first tower fell followed by the second tower. We were transfixed by the events unfolding but still went through the motions of preparing to go to work and school.
I was so overwhelmed by the events that I just did not realize the implications of what I had just witnessed. It wasn’t until I got to work that I feared for what was going to happen. I knew there were going to be implications and I was afraid my daughter would be caught up in it. So after I got to work I put in a call to my mother and asked her to call Cinderella and see what if anything was happening. At that time I did not have a cell phone so being at work I could only have minimal contact with my family. My mom tried all day and could not contact Cinderella and I continued to try and contact her when I returned from work. I remember having an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Cinderella had just given birth to my grandaughter Butterfly in June of that year and I was the person designated to take Butterfly in the event of a deployment. My mom and I made some tentative plans to go get Butterfly if that became necessary.
Finally about 8:00 o’clock that night I heard from Cinderella. She did not know much. She had been on lock down at her post but finally was released to go home and pick up Butterfly from her babysitter. She told me to sit tight and would let me know if I needed to come. Well, we all know the rest of this history. Needless to say she did not get deployed and in the early winter months of the next year Cinderella left the army and she and Butterfly came home. But the fear I felt that day still lives inside of me.
As far as LCpl Honda is concerned, we did not celebrate his birthday that day. We finally did a couple of weeks later but it was not your normal celebration. LCpl Honda still to this day is not really interested in celebrating his birthday. His only comment is, “I joined the Marines so that nobody else will have their birthday ruined.” I think that comment speaks for itself.
He has yet to be deployed and that is not for lack of trying. My nephew Cpl Red is currently on his second deployment to Iraq. As of today, LCpl Honda has volunteered to go with a unit that will be deployed to Afghanistan. Nothing is set in stone yet. As for me, I just sit and wait. Hurry up and wait. Semper Gumby.