It’s been 19 years, yet it seems like last week. Does it hit you that way? 19 years? No, I don’t think about it as often as I used to, but every year that it comes around, the memories come back like it was yesterday.
I suppose every tragedy that we live through hits us the same way. President Kennedy was shot Nov. 22, 1963. I remember it.
Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. I don’t remember it personally but my parents did and I’ve felt it through them. My dad wouldn’t talk about whether he was already in the service when Pearl was attacked. If he wasn’t then, he did join up. He went to Europe and fought in what became known as “the Battle of the Bulge.”
9/11. 19 years ago, Roger and Dana Fry were in the process of building the awning in the front of Zarifis Insurance, The Bookstore and the Hallmark buildings. It was a monumental effort to keep a bothersome early sun out of our eyes and away from our sun-bleached merchandise.
During the construction, someone said that the Twin Towers in NYC had been hit. I didn’t know what that was so I forgot about it. When my day was over and I was in my apartment, I found out what it was all about. All night long and every day thereafter I lived with the horror of it. Though I wasn’t near it, I immediately took possession of it.
The Twin Towers was like JFK and now I know what it was like when Pearl Harbor got hit. It was a tough day for us, two planes hit the towers, one hit the Pentagon and Flight 93 averted a hit on the Capital by forcing a crash in Pennsylvania, all passengers were killed.
Everyone felt the horror of it. You could tell because everyone seemed to pull closer together. You could feel it. There was something in the air. All of a sudden we, as a nation, had one thing to share. It was JFK all over again. For the older people, they could throw in Pearl Harbor too. We were inundated by the TV coverage and caught up in it.
At first I think were were all in shock that such a thing could happen to us. A few of us ran to the local gas stations to fill up, not knowing what would happen next. I was one of those in line. Over the next few days, some of the gas stations across the country raised their prices, not one of our proudest moments. The Creston stations were not among the price gougers. Their prices remained the same. Eventually, we all calmed down, pulling together to share a common tragedy.
And now, 19 years later, we have a similar problem, but somehow, it’s different. At a time when we should all be reacting the same way, we are not. This is something we have never faced. This is an unseen enemy. Many are dying from it or complications from it and some of us are throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the information given to us by scientists.
On top of the pandemic, there is protesting and looting in the streets, fires in the west and hurricanes in the southwest. The timing couldn’t be worse to fight a virus. I have to believe that eventually a vaccine will come about, the unrest will be resolved and we will become the America we used to be.