It was a day like any other. I'd had a sleepless night, not unusual, so after sending the middle school and high school students out the door, I went back to bed until 11, when I got up to awaken Ryan for Kindergarten.
It was bright and sunny.
My alarm clock/radio was announcing that all state buildings had been evacuated, and Penn State had cancelled classes statewide, but no incidents had been reported.
After preparing Ryan's oatmeal, I turned on the TV to learn that we had been attacked. The principals of openness and equality which we hold so dear had enabled 19 terrorists to hijack four of our jets and turn them on us.
How to understand this? And how to explain this to an innocent 5 year old, who might very well hear of this at school?
I told him on the car ride to school that he might hear from others that bad men had stolen airplanes and crashed them. But here in our little town, we were safe. All was well. He could count on that.
And we are. Air travel is less pleasant, even unpleasant. But we have remained safe. And we remain free, willing to celebrate our commonalities rather than our differences. This is a solemn day of remembrance, but, like most others, it's a great day in America.
9/11. We fly our flags. We will never forget.