The New York Times shared a post on its Facebook page on Aug. 30 that read: The home page of The New York Times at 5:20 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 30, 2021.
Below the message was a photo of The Times’ flag and a headline that said BREAKING AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR IS OVER AS LAST TROOPS LEAVE AFGHANISTAN.
It hearkened back to other Times’ headlines that took up half a page of real estate and told Americans about the end of wars and men walking on the moon.
It had thousands of likes, thousands of shares and thousands of comments that ran the gamut of emotions many Americans are feeling.
For some those feelings seem to intensify as we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Last week I spoke with Maj. Victoria Ijames from Fox Army Health Center, who told me many of the former and current Soldiers who were reaching out to Fox shared “frustrations with the withdrawal process out of Afghanistan, discussions of tarnishing of U.S. credibility amongst world leaders, and an overall discussion of ‘what was it all for’ as one of my providers put it, as relayed to her by patients,” she said.
The major previously wrote an article for the Rocket addressing some of these concerns. You can find it here: www.theredstonerocket.com/military_scene/article_ef1b44c0-05ac-11ec-8729-dba7f3118a52.html or go to theredstonerocket.com and search Find healing while watching events beyond your control.
If you’d like to talk to someone, here are some numbers to call:
For the active duty and Tricare beneficiary population:
• Military OneSource (800-342-9647),
• Military Family Life Consultants (226-7317),
• Chaplain Services (842-2176)
• Fox Army Health Center, Department of Behavioral Health (955-8888 ext. 1032).
• Huntsville Vet Center, 539-5775
• Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255
• And, if you are having suicidal thoughts, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
I have a handful of memories directly tied to 9/11.
The first one is where I was when I heard about it. I was in high school and my English class had just started. Then a kid came in and my teacher told him to get out. This particular student had a problem getting to class on time and my English teacher had told him if he was late again, don’t bother showing up.
That’s when the student said “No, it’s not my fault this time. A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center and they were showing it live on TV.”
At first my English teacher didn’t believe him. This student also had a flair for the dramatic and a healthy imagination. It was the perfect example of the story of the Boy who Cried Wolf.
Before anything else happened, the principal came over the intercom system and told everyone what had happened.
That’s the moment it hit us that this wasn’t an accident. We had been attacked on American soil.
The rest of that day was weird.
Half of the teachers tried to act like it was business as usual and the other half were in a semi-state of shock.
I was trying to take a social studies test when someone from the office came to tell me my dad was there to check me out. That was the only time my dad ever came to the school to check me out early.
To put that in context. Mom was always the one that handled the day-to-day stuff like doctor’s appointments and dad was the one that always handled the emergencies.
It just added to the overall soup of emotions that we were all swimming around in that day.
It’s hard to believe that was 20 years ago. But, more than that, it’s hard to believe the impact a single day would have on the rest of our lives.
For the people my age, we’ve been at war for over half our lives. For people younger than me, they’ve been at war for their entire lives.
But we’ve all been fortunate that throughout it all there have been men and women willing to fight that war and keep it away from our doorstep.
It’s for those people that we remember 9/11.