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Thank you note

My mom always taught me to say thank you. Leaving birthday parties, for gifts…you name it, I was expected to express my thanks. Sometimes it was with words, other times with a personal note.

Over Christmas my mom told me she thought the Republican Party should take out full page ads in newspapers around the country thanking President Bush for his service to our country. She wanted to acknowledge the seven years the United States went without any terrorist attacks on our soil. She even lobbied former Governor Mike Huckabee for his assistance.

You see, she had a vested interest in thanking President Bush. She and my dad were at the White House on 9-11. They had helped take a school group on a bus trip to Washington, DC and they were scheduled to have their White House tour that morning.

I found out about the first attack when I turned on the television just as the second plane was hitting the World Trade Center. Of course, no one knew what was happening or why at the time.

My phone rang and I was sitting glued to the TV. I answered it and my mom was screaming into the phone…..what is going on!!!???? WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!? I could hear (what I later learned was White House Security) yelling…..RUN! RUN!!

And then silence.

Her phone, like so many that day, was cut off from service. As I stood there with the phone shaking in my hand, I heard about the plane hitting the Pentagon. I had no way of knowing for HOURS what had happened to them. Did they get out of DC? Did they see the Pentagon burning? (they did) Where were they?

And somewhere, hours out of DC, she was finally able to get a signal and called to let me know they were ok. It was a call many families did not get that day. And one I am eternally glad I received.

And in the following 7 years much has happened to the United States. But none of it involves being attacked on our own soil by terrorists. We are in a recession, we are in an unpopular war…but we here at home have been safe.

And my mom wanted to say thanks.

Apparently Steven Curtis Chapman did as well. And he made this beautiful montage of photos with a song he wrote as his tribute.

So mom….this post is for you. It’s not a thank you in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal or even the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette….in fact, it’s just on my blog with probably not that many readers, but it does say thanks.

And like you always taught me, that is really what matters.

Comments: #

Deanne - Feb 3, 2009

Simply beautiful. I have actually shared that story on a couple of occassions. Along with my picture of Billy and I standing in front of the globe in the World Trade Center courtyard. It was taken about 10 days before the attacks. I’ve often told people that there was noting different about the day that I was there vs. 9-11. It could have just as easily happened when I was there. We think about every year when we go back - that we really got lucky and that we’ve been so well protected since. Thanks for sharing it with everyone else.

Deanne - Feb 3, 2009

Oh, if you mom wants to run the ad, I will contribute.When I first starting reading I was going to share a funny story about saying thank you, but it was no longer appropriate after reading the rest of the post. I’ll share it some other time.