We have 9/11 in our hearts
It has been a long time since we have been able to blog for many reasons, but I just couldn't not honor a few people on this very important day. First of all, 9/11 has been Steve's parents' wedding anniversary. Phyllis died before their 60th, and Clark just died on June 8th of 2009.
Steve and I went camping with them for every anniversary since their 50th. On that particular anniversary, we tied the boat up in the middle of albacore trolling, and took the greyhound from Crescent City, CA to Seattle....picked up my van in the gear locker and drove four hours in the rain to Iron Creek Campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We woke everyone up at 11 pm but we had made it for their 50th wedding anniversary. The smiles on their faces told me all I needed to know. Clark helped dry out our sleeping bags by the fire and we basked in the celebration of a most important anniversary. That was 1996. In the ensuing years, as many of the family who could, met at Adam's Fork Campground on Sept. 11th. We brought dahlias from our garden and led mushroom and blueberry picking expeditions up the sides of Mt. Adams and other closeby fields. We caught trout and were able to brag over sauted trout with chantrelles in sherry and cream. Blueberry pancakes in the morning and chantrelle doused fish or meat for dinner were the norm. Our kids heard the old stories and made new ones. We were in the vernacular....fam-i-ly.
Now fast forward to the 9/11 which changed our country forever. As usual, we were camping at Adam's Fork on 9/11/2001 and knew nothing about the attacks. We were around the fire in the evening when a car drove by our campsite slowly. They passed by and then backed up. Phyllis walked out to see if they needed directions or some help. What they told her shook her up. She told us about the twin towers being hit by terrorists in hijacked planes. We sat around the fire trying to digest the information. I remembered Peggy Noonan's article earlier in the summer about looking at Middle Eastern men panning her church and other buildings with their video cameras and feeling that it was very creepy. I had seen the same type of men taking pictures of the Interbay train depot near Fisherman's Terminal. It was after USS Cole bombing and some of us were very nervous but for the right reasons.
Steve and I were shaken. I was disturbed to the core. I had been reading threat assessments on the internet all summer but nothing was even close to the 9/11/2001. I clutched my portable radio to my ear all night with an aching heart, in tears, knowing that my beloved country would never be the same again. We were in the beauty of America, near Mt St Helens, in God's country, but here we were isolated from the tragedy of 9/11. I feared for my children, one of whom was in Boston. I had to hear her voice. The next morning I made Steve come with me on a 40 mile drive down the mountain, down 3,000 ft of altitude to Randle, WA., where I called my daughter on the only pay phone we could find. Thank God she was safe. My son, I was able to reach later on the West Coast. Only then would I go back to the campsite. With heavy hearts, we all broke camp, and went home. Then we watched TV with America and cried along with our fellow Americans.
Later I learned one of my heroes, Rick Rescorla, had died in the twin towers, sheparding his people down the stairwells with his bull horn of songs and encouraging words. He was my hero after reading We were Soldiers Once and Young, and even more so after the movie with Mel Gibson. All the soldiers who fought at Ia Drang, never knew that they were my heroes. I was late to the realization about what they had done. But when I read their stories, I knew that if I had been a man, I would have wanted to be among them as a fellow soldier, a friend, and I will never forget. They were my contemporaries, my brothers. I could only love them from afar. I honor them today. I honor Rick Rescorla today. God rest his soul, and God bless his wife, and his friends.
So to Mom and Dad, to my father, a true patriot, and to Rick, my hero, and to all the others on 9/11.....who suffered and died.... I will always remember. Today, my heart and soul ached all day with new tears falling down old rivers.