Nine years ago today I was a brand new, very young mother. I stood in my living room in my pajamas and watched the horror unfurl on live television, watching the fire, watching the first and then the second tower collapse, watching the Pentagon burn, seeing that a giant rut had been dug into the earth in Pennsylvania. Members of a theocracy had murdered over 3,000 Americans.
They didn’t just bring their war to American soil, they brought it into American living rooms.
In my living room, my five-month-old son played happily upon a blanket on the floor. It was a bizarre dichotomy: here was my innocent son, oblivious to what was happening to the country and his future. Standing over him was his young mother who thought that her biggest concern at this moment of his life would be the pain he felt from immunizations.
I have been political most of my life, only I campaigned for Democrat candidates. I had campaigned for Clinton his second term. At that moment I regretted it all. I had begun a transformation 14 months ago when I became pregnant, a transformation that was completed the moment that I realized, the moment that we all as a country realized what was happening on the morning of 9/11.
I became a conservative.
I saw that there existed in this world a threat bigger than ear infections, a threat bigger than outgrowing clothes so quickly, a threat bigger than anything for which I could have prepared. We can all only speak from our own perspectives this day, and I can say that mine was fundamentally changed, my path in life changed, everything changed.
I have more than one child now. My trajectory has changed. My living room extends beyond the walls of my home. It extends to both coasts, to both the Canadian and Mexican border.
Every year we mark this somber day by remembering the men, women, and children who were murdered by an ideology that abhors freedom, that hates us with a passion greater than we can comprehend simply because we are free men. We remember the men, women, and children who did not ask for war when they simply showed up for work, for appointments, for day care that day. Their lives were politicized by an ideology who sought to burn a mark on our soil. It is our responsibility as a nation to not fall back into a false sense of safety, into apathy, romanticize the past and forget what happened.
That’s the first step to ensuring that it never happens again, in our homes, in this country.
Our prayers are with the families who lost loved ones nine years ago today and also with our country.