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Sep 11, 2009

Remembrance and Appreciation

      I hadn't planned on posting something else today, however, that plan has changed.  And so begins a little focus.
      This morning, while at the gym, the two TVs on the wall, which are always on the news in the morning, were tuned to CNN and Fox News.  These two television news stations could not be any more diametrically opposed to one another.  Fox News is ridiculously conservative, and certainly favors a right-wing rhetoric.  CNN is far more liberal, and suits my taste far better.  Despite my own personal convictions, over the last week I have found I actually like seeing them both at the same time.  They can report on exactly the same thing and as a viewer I can get two different sides to every story.
      This morning, though, was different.  It wasn't about who is right, or who is wrong.  It wasn't about why President Obama is a complete failure or why he is a complete success.  It was about remembrance, respect of the fallen, and looking toward an ever better and safer future. 
      I remember September 11, 2001 very clearly.  I was camping at Pinecrest Lake with a then girlfriend and some other friends.  We had just gotten up and were busy with preparations of making breakfast.  Eggs, bacon, biscuits; the standard fare for camping.  I remember seeing the campground host hastily driving from site to site and stopping to talk to every single person who was up.  When I first saw this I assumed he was reporting something like a bear sighting, or something like that, and was making the obligatory warnings to would-be hikers and swimmers.  However, when he came to our site he made us aware that in the course of about 20 minutes, while we were away from general civilization and completely unaware, the world had changed forever. 
      Two large passenger planes had crashed into World Trade Center and they had collapsed.  Thousands were presumed dead. 
      How could something like this happen?  One plane, we thought, could have actually been an accident.  Two? Obviously a more diabolical plan was at work.  Our friends had a small portable TV with an antenna, and we quickly turned it on and did our best to get some sort of reception.  Being where we were, we couldn't get a picture, all we could do was listen to anonymous voices filled with sorrow and shock as we stared at a screen that was nothing recognizable. 
      It wasn't until two days later when I got home that I saw the images on the news.  I was saddened, I was shocked, I was angry.  I can see in my head, still clear as the day I saw it then, seeing a body being hurled from a broken window as the pressure from the collapsing tower forced it into the air from unknown stories above the street.  Along with the many people who lost their lives by simply arriving on time for work, hundreds of Fire Fighters, Police Officers, and EMS personal were lost in effort to save any and all they could. 
      I grew up in a very police oriented family.  My uncle worked for the Berkley PD, and my father worked for the Vacaville PD.  I think, I never truly understood the kind of sacrifice that this may have required of them because I never really saw what results could come from such sacrifice.
      Every day people put on a uniform of some sort and go work, and sadly, we really only hear about their labors when some drastic event happens and public cries foul on the part of these fine people.  Thankfully, every now and then (although sometimes by way of horrific reminder), we are reminded what these people really do for us.
      As a child I remember thinking, "How cool is it that my dad is a cop?"  Now, I am 33, and I still think the same about my father.  In high school I would make a point of stopping by his office on campus (he was the supervisor of the youth services division, and had an office on campus), visit with him and Beverly (I think that was her name; I don't remember for sure, I just know she had a desk when you first walked into the office) and then bum a couple of dollars to get something to eat since I rarely took the time to pack a lunch in the mornings.  Did I truley appreciate what he did then?  Or did I simply appreciate the cash that always seemed readily available?
     Later as I got older, I would never hesitate to stop by the PD, visit and see how things were going.  I knew many people there and all were always friendly and welcoming.  Again, though, did I truely appreciate exactly what these people were doing?
      So, many years later, and maybe a little too late for some (sorry Bob, it took me a long time to say something like this), I am thankful for them, one and all. 
      To my father, who served his community for 30-plus years, I want to say something I don't know that I have ever said. 
      Thanks, Dad. 
      Not only were you, and still are, an example to me of how to live my life, but you were willing to make that sacrifice.  I thank God that it didn't take the loss of your life to bring this out, because our lives would have been empty and dreary because of it.  I am grateful for the service you provided, and I'm sorry for taking too long to truly appreciate it for what it was.
      We love you Dad, and our lives wouldn't be the same without you.

3 comments:

  1. Well said Adam. Thank you. 30 years of worry was rough and you and Christy were good kids having a police officer for a dad. You supported him and understood the demands of his job away from the family. He's a good guy and I am grateful for him!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Posted by my sister on FAcebook becasue the comment section was off kilter:

    Amen, Amen! Well said, Adam. I feel exactly the same way. Once dad was retired, mom started asking me about all kinds of things that happened when we were little, and most of them I just don't remember. Either I blocked them out, or mom and dad did a very good job of keeping us in the dark on the real dangers of dad's job.

    And by the way, two posts in one day should earn you a free pass later in the month... use it wisely!

    ReplyDelete

You went to all the trouble to get yourself here, you might as well say something about it.

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