September 11th

I woke up this morning and looked out the window. There was an American flag posted on my lawn. This is a nice service the Boy Scouts do for our neighborhood on holidays. But why would there be a flag on my lawn today, I thought, glancing at the calendar. September 11th.

I remember exactly where I was on that morning. We were living in Moscow, ID (Pacific Time) and Jason had left at 5 am to golf. My phone rang around six with a frantic, “Turn on your TV”, so I ran upstairs and flipped it on. I sat there dazed and glued to my television. I watched as those towers fell, one by one. I watched as our country came to the sick realization that we were under attack. Our land, our homes, our businesses and safety, violated.

How could I, in little Moscow, Idaho feel so much fear? I couldn’t bring myself to get ready for work as I sat there, staring, listening, watching. I knew Jason was only golfing, but I felt desperate for him to come home and be safe with me.

I worked at a psychology office at the time, and you won’t believe what something like this does to people with severe anxiety. I remember one lady in particular coming in. We cried together. It sounds so silly now, but the day felt so dark and the loss was so great. It wasn’t just the loss of life, it was the loss of our safety. Our beautiful country, home of the brave and the free, molested.

I have since heard miraculous stories of friends who escaped the tragedy of the Pentagon by moments, and families who still mourn the loss of their loved ones. As our nation turned to God, he heard our rusty prayers and sent miracles. But how soon we forget.

Today I honor those men and women who serve our country in this war of terrorism. I don’t care what you think about the war, I feel pride in a country willing to try and root out the evil behind these atrocious acts. I honor families who sacrifice loved ones, women like Julie Newell, with six small boys and a wonderful husband who isn’t afraid to fight for our country. Julie and Garth, you amaze me.

The war is half a world away, but there is a war. We should remember it every day. We should pray not only for the end of the war, but for victory. We must be victorious. Generations to come will be affected by the outcome of our success or failure. This isn’t about bringing our soldiers home so we’re not lonely, or bringing them home because wars hurt people, this is about securing our country a safe harbor in the terrifying seas ahead.

Until you’ve lived outside this great nation, until you’ve seen just how good we have it, you can’t fully appreciate what those men and women are sacrificing their lives to protect. They aren’t just trying to keep another 9/11 from happening, they’re ensuring that our children can fearlessly ride busses to school, teenagers can hang out at malls and mother’s can safely push their strollers around parks. Do not think for one moment that the evil behind 9/11 would spare our children. It would not.

I am humbled to be an American. With a husband who has chosen a career of service in the United States Air Force, I am honored to join the ranks of men and women who sacrifice loved ones to serve this great country. God Bless America. May that phrase echo throughout the Heavens for centuries to come.


  1. SevenVillageIdiarts says:

    Thank you for that beautiful post. . .I wish now I would have followed suit and done something a little more meaningful today. . .I just can’t stand to publish more than once a day, I know, it’s neurotic.

  2. SevenVillageIdiarts says:

    OK, I did post, and I quoted you, Thanks Annie! And I’m changing you from “Tiffs Friend I Stalk” status on my blog list.

  3. Jodi's Ramblings says:

    Powerful words. I am ashamed I didn’t even know what day it was till my professor mentioned it in class. We then watched a show about the Battle of Britain during WW 2 and how the British forces were outnumbered 10 to 1 and how they didn’t have near enough tanks, guns, etc. and the miracle of the British victory was due to the indomitable spirit of the British people. The whole thing stunned me and made me want to hug anyone who has ever fought for our country or any other country to preserve freedom for us common every-day folk. I don’t know what to feel about the war in Iraq, but I know what to feel for all those who are sacrificing and serving–Pure unadulterated gratitude. Tell your husband that he rocks from a grateful lady in Texas.

    PS–I went to check out Sarah Palin’s talk because of your post. I felt the Spirit slam into me like a ton of bricks (which I also felt during when I read this post). I am not sure what that means, except I know I am voting for Sarah. I wasn’t sure if I was going to vote before, because I didn’t care for either candidate. But you and Sarah converted me! 🙂

  4. Mother Goose says:

    what a beautiful post. I too remember what I was feeling on that day. Many people who are older relate it to they know exactly what they were doing when JFK was shot.

  5. Thank you Annie, for putting into words what I have been feeling all day. Of course I remember where I was, BYU, Tanner bldg, TVs everywhere and all on the chaos.

    I am also so grateful to the country radio stations. I’ve been in my car a lot today and all morning long all country stations played Alan Jackson’s songs and many others as a tribute to 9/11. I am grateful for patriots who don’t forget and won’t forget what happened and what we are doing about it. Thanks for writing such a heart-stirring post about it!

  6. Beautifully said. Thank you.

  7. Shelly Lomu says:

    I still remember every second of that day and the days following. Isnt it crazy that you had some of those nut jobs living across the street in good ol moscow? Today, for me anyway, has seemed to hit a little harder because of where things stand in this country. Its a scary time. Thanks for sharing!

  8. by AnnieValentine says:

    Like Shelly said, we found out a year later that we had an alchiada terrorist cell living right across the street from us. We woke up one morning and the FBI was all over our front lawn. It was ironic that six months after that Jason was working in the alchiada unit at FBI headquarters in DC. And they all knew about Moscow, Idaho.

  9. Alison Wonderland says:

    I did the same thing this morning as I was driving home from work. “Why are there flags in people’s yar- oh yeah.”

    I remember where I was when I first heard but I’m ashamed to say I didn’t really get it. I had heard of the WTC but… I just didn’t get it. It wasn’t until later that afternoon that what had really happened started to sink in. And then I spent the next few days out in the backyard, so that my 1 yr old could run around, listening desperately to the radio.

    But it does seem like we as a country have largely forgotten. I don’t know what to do about that.

  10. I’m impressed, you write well even with sincerity. That was a great tribute and very heartfelt, thanks for sharing.

  11. Wow-that was written so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I hope we don’t often have to be reminded to love our country…but in case we do, this post was a great way to do it.

  12. I know you said not to leave comments…but I couldn’t leave this one alone. You said what I felt and think.

    Thank you, and your family, for the service you give, and plan to give, on our behalf. We sleep at night because mothers like you support men like yours to protect my babies. Thank you.


    um, if you get this comment (i know this post is MONTHS old) i want to know where you lived and when you left! and then i want to remember how i found your blog, but i can’t, i have no idea how i got here, but you’re a blast to read. i’m blowing through all your archives (instead of working, shhhh!) and i am officially a fan.