Tag Archives: 9/11

A Broken Promise


Nineteen years ago today, I was 16 weeks pregnant with baby #2. Like most mornings, I was in the bed with terrible morning sickness. My husband knew that and tried to let me get as much rest as possible before I had to go to class, so when my phone rang at 8:50, I wondered what in the world could be so important that he’d call me that early from work. “Alicia, turn on the TV.” I did, and before I could even ask him what channel, I saw it for myself. It didn’t matter what channel. It was everywhere. One of the towers of the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. A plane! What kind of terrible accident had happened? We were still on the phone, both silent, staring at our respective TVs in disbelief. It was chaos. Reporters couldn’t believe what they were seeing, either. A few minutes later, at 9:03, as I was still on the phone staring at my TV, I saw another plane. I distinctly remember thinking how odd it was to see a plane so close to the skyline after one had already accidentally crashed into a building.

That’s when it happened.

That second plane hit the other tower! The news anchor on the TV was as stunned as I was. My husband said, “Oh my God, Alicia, did you see that?” I did. I saw it. It was at that moment that my husband, the news anchor, myself, and the world knew – that was no accident. Someone had just declared war on the United States. It was at that exact moment that nothing would ever be the same for America.

The weeks and months following that historic day were like nothing I had ever seen. People were nice to everyone. They smiled, they held doors, they said please and thank you. They didn’t care what race you were or what political party with which you were aligned. It didn’t matter where you were – you would see American flags everywhere. For the first (and last) time in history, Americans were one. We were united.

What I would give to be one with my fellow citizens again. Why must it take an act of terror – pure hatred – for us to come together and see past race, gender, politics, and religion? We are better than this. I know it. I saw proof of it on September 12, 2001.

How quickly we’ve forgotten what we promised to never forget.


“Man, we lit up your world like the 4th of July…” ~Toby Keith


Today is my favorite day of the year – July 4th…  A day where our pride as Americans is just tangible.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those nerds who still has to hold back tears every time I hear the National Anthem, even though I’ve now heard it approximately 1,568 times.

Source: ESPN

Source: ESPN

Every time I see an old man, I get emotional.  Not sad emotional, but proud emotional.  As I watch them walk down the street or through the grocery store, I wonder about how they defended our Country for us.  Which wars have they fought in?  What do they think about how much our society has changed over the years?  Are they proud of what they see around them now, or are they ashamed?

Source: DoDLive

Source: DoDLive

I get choked up a little every time I see a soldier.  I am so thankful for the men and women who fight for our freedoms… the very freedoms I take advantage of every day.  While I’m at home complaining that we can’t go outside and swim because it’s raining again, these brave heroes are sleeping in a place that’s not their home – on something that can barely be called a bed – in a place that’s sweltering with no A/C – with no real food for months at a time – away from their spouses and children and parents.  Who the heck am I to complain about anything?

Source: Prinze Charming

Source: Prinze Charming

Every time I hear Toby, I stand up a little straighter.  “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” reminds me every time I hear it that we, as Americans, can sleep at night without fear thanks to the heroes who have busted their asses for us since 9/11.

Source: Pop Dust

Source: Pop Dust

Each time I see fireworks, I stare in complete awe, thinking of the work our Founding Fathers put forth in paving the way for us as citizens of the best country on Earth.

Source: Progressive Libertarianism

Source: Progressive Libertarianism

At every baseball game I attend, I sit and close my eyes for a few seconds, taking in the sounds and smells around me.  It truly is America’s pastime.

Alicia Benton Photography

Alicia Benton Photography

Every time I see the New York skyline, I think about how we Americans destroyed all boundaries and prejudices, at least temporarily, in order to stand together, in unity, for our Country.  It consistently reminds me that we are, in fact, the world’s greatest.

Source: America 911

Source: America 911

Every time I go to vote, I say a silent prayer of thanks that I live in a Democratic society where I am free to choose what I think is best for our nation.  While my opinion may not always be the winning opinion, at least I can have my say.  It is our civic duty to go out and vote.  If you don’t already, I urge you to in our next election.  Use your voice that our soldiers are fighting to allow us to keep.

Every time I publish a new post on my blog, I’m grateful that I live in America – a place where I am free to speak my mind, even if others don’t like what I have to say.

Source: The Core Message

Source: The Core Message

Each time I stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance, I stop to actually consider the words I’m saying.  ONE NATION.  UNDER GOD.  You’re damn right…

Source: Mitt Romney Central

Source: Mitt Romney Central

To sum all this up, I’m proud to be an American.  I understand what some are giving up so that I can continue to be safe, free, and selfish.  Freedom is most certainly not free.

Photo by QT Luong

Photo by QT Luong

Thank you.  Thank you to all those who are fighting, and have fought, for my family, friends, and me.  You are my real-life superheroes.

Source: Freedom Trail Run

Source: Freedom Trail Run

Happy 4th of July!


Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

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