However, instead of my usual morning program of Little House on the Prairie playing in the background, breaking news reports about terrorist attacks on New York City was on the screen. I remember the horrifying images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center towers, the black billowing smoke filling the skyline, terrified people jumping the their death, and rescue personal rushing inside the burning buildings. I heard the reports of a plane hitting the Pentagon and one crashing in a Pennsylvania field. I said a silent prayer for those planes reporting missing during all this chaos and I was grateful for cities and towns in Canada that were allowing planes to be rerouted there. I knew right then life had changed forever.
I was glued to the television, while tears continuously rolled down my cheeks. However, I also knew we were America, and we were not going to let these terrorists win. I got the boys ready and loaded them up in the van. I dropped Michael off first at the private Christian school he was attending at the time and then Shinsuke to a local church who was partnered with the exchange program. I remember gazing on people’s faces – we were all numb and in shock, many openly weeping. They too realized life had changed forever. A few days later, Shinsuke flew back home, but before he left, we attended a party for the exchange students and their host families. I remember the director of the exchange program talking about the importance of being host families and opening our hearts and minds to exchange students. More then ever we needed to share history, culture, and traditions.
Our country changed forever that day, and so did I.