This weekend–especially as I was surrounded by Americans, American TV, American food–it was hard not to be pensive about all the ways 9/11 has effected mine and Alan’s lives. It was hard not to miss my family.
Because of 9/11 I was attached to the hip of my co-worker for 18 months in 2002–all day every day of the working week–waiting for paperwork to be processed (in line behind all the newly appointed Homeland Security employees) so I could do my government job unattached.
I had an exciting and stressful above-mentioned job.
Visiting Washington D.C. in 2003 for training was more than just a tourist experience for me; it was the setting of a huge piece of history I lived through.
In 2005 the Army raised the age limit of men who could join their ranks to 39.
My Al joined the Army. At the age of 39.
Seeing My Al in uniform for the first time equaled honor and fear to know a Hero Hot Guy who expects to go to war.
My Al was deployed to Iraq for one year, drove a Humvee or manned the gun turret, was occasionally confronted with possible IEDs, and will forever remember what it was like to hear and feel an explosion that was meant for his base location.
We had gratitude that circumstances for My Al in Iraq were safe by comparison.
Said deployment evolved into a new job possibility for My Al.
My Al and I were apart for our 1 year wedding anniversary.
Because of 9/11, we are living in Germany right now.
This past weekend, we spent more than 5 hours one way on a bus with 12 women and their children so the Deployed Soldier’s wives of the 18th Engineer Brigade could find some sanity for a few days.
My Al and I sat in two sessions of meetings where those women’s fears, friendships, loneliness, phone call frustrations, trauma, heartache, pride, hope, and faith was as thick as humble pie.
Because of 9/11, a Lodge nestled at the base of the Bavarian Alps is a place of refuge, adventure and healing for American soldiers and their families.
This flower is Edelweiss. It is known for many things. (Are you singing the song in your head yet?) Did you know it has medicinal properties? Or that it is a symbol of hope? A symbol of lasting love? A symbol of courage and honor?
These are the reasons for the name, Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Bavaria, Germany.
I am sad in remembering those who died that day; sad in knowing all those who have died in the wars since then; sad that the conflicts rage on; sad for all these families of the 18th Engineer Brigade. Some of these families came to Germany never having a reason to suspect a deployment. Some of them are on their 1st deployment. Some of them are on their 6th.
Did you get that? Their 6th!
I know I’ve spent much of my time on this blog expressing my joys of German places, German food, and how exciting it is to live in another country. In case you don’t know me very well, let me just tell you… Or if you thought you knew me and wondered if I had lost it, let me remind you…
Because of 9/11, because of all who died that day at the hands of evil men, because of those who continue to die at the hands of evil men–it would be shameful and a discredit to those who fought for and/or died if I were not grateful for all the freedoms I have enjoyed and continue now to enjoy. That’s how I think it should be for every American.
May God ever bless the U.S.A!
P.S. Here’s irony for you: The Edelweiss is the resort that came recruiting Massage Therapists at our school in 2009. We didn’t pursue it because we would have had to get housing on our own (they were only offering it for single people) and the wages were far too slim to afford European resort town apartment rent. At that time Alan’s current Germany job was not even in the picture.
Our Garmisch Photos: