Monday, 12 September 2016

11 September..... 15 years on...

This year I tried to let the 11th of September pass without comment. 15 years have passed but I could not do it. It still feels like yesterday and the memories are still so raw.  I only have to think back to that day for the tears to flow unbidden.

My family and I were living in Connecticut, 40 miles from Ground Zero, at the time. We felt the fear and the uncertainty of the American people. We lived a lot of it with them.

As much as I try to forget the images I saw and the stories that I heard, the fear that I felt for myself, my family, and for all of us that day, and in the days and weeks that followed, that is something I cannot forget as much as I try.   In reality though I do not want the world to forget what happened.

Part of me feels it is our responsibility to make sure that day is not forgotten, just as we must not forget all the other days that we remember each year and the reasons that we observe special days like ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.  

Whether you agree with it or not, our troops went to Afghanistan to fight the war on terror, largely as a result of the events that occurred on that day.... 911.  

Too many of them have not come home and many, many of them have not come home the same. 

I can't write another post about it.   Even now I only have to think about it and I fight to keep the tears and anguish in check.  If you are interested, and if you have time, please read the post that I wrote back in 2013 - you will find it here

Running Aussie Heroes for the last five years had given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful serving men and women and some of them have shared with me what it means to live with and in some cases, to suffer with, PTSD.   The 11th of September remains my trigger which is why I tried to let it pass this year.

As we know so many of our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen are coming home with memories of things that they would rather forget.  It affects their lives on a day to day basis. Some are diagnosed with PTSD, some are not, but I suspect many of them have things that will trigger feelings they would rather not feel.

Many of those triggers are every day things that you and I take for granted.  It may be as common place as looking through a camera lens, or going to a shopping centre, being in a crowd, seeing a big dog that you do not know and a myriad of other every day occurrences.  

I just ask that you spend a few minutes remembering those that died on September 11 fifteen years ago, the heroes who rushed in and those that could not escape.  Please remember those that died in the following days from injuries sustained on that day and please remember all the grieving family and friends who lost someone special. 

Please also remember all those who are brave enough and selfless enough to stand up for our country and do what is asked of them, often for little or no recognition, in the hope that they will keep the threat as far away from this country and its people as possible.  

Till next time.................Thank you to all who have deployed, past and present,  to serve in our name and thank you to your loved ones and friends for what it costs them as well.