Jennifer Funk Fine Art


I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was driving to school (I taught 2nd grade) and I heard something on the radio about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. I had only been able to listen for a minute or two before I got to school.  I ran in and when I walked in the office the t.v was on in our principle’s office. People were gathered around and saying how they just couldn’t believe it….

and then the second plane hit.  It was only then that it was obvious it wasn’t an accident.

I remember feeling scared and small. and wondering how I was going to help my little second graders be ok that day; when I was not ok.  That day was a blur. I could not hold back the tears when the towers fell. and I remember thinking I had to pull it together so these sweet little kids would not be more scared. I felt afraid in my own community for the first time.

So during that day what was the most important to you?
What became more important than anything else?
What worries fell away and no longer mattered?

I know for me, nothing else mattered but my family and my faith. I just wanted to get home and hold my own sweet little second grader Tyler. I wanted to be with my family and make sure we were all o.k.  Every other worry fell away. They were no longer going to occupy my time. Time seemed much more precious.  It seemed silly that they were such a big deal in the first place.

One of the things that made me feel better was knowledge. So I watched the news and discovered talk radio. I wanted to know what was going on.  The amazing stories of heroism and survival; heartbreak and loss – I wanted to know it all. I remember thinking that it was very important for all of us to know about these men and women who lost their lives. That was the way we honor and remember them.

I didn’t meet Brad until Oct 2002,   He came and spoke on Veteran’s Day to my class that year.  He shared how he had always wanted to fly, and how he wanted to protect this great country that we all have the privilege of living in. Many of the student’s asked him about the terrorist attacks the previous year. I remember being so impressed with how he talked to them. He had returned from Saudi Arabia a few months before – He patrolled the no fly zone over Iraq. (Operation Southern Watch)   He talked in terms they could understand (good guys, bad guys) He told them that was his job, to protect them from the bad guys. And that there were many, many men and women all around the country and the world “protecting them from the bad guys” And that the bad guys will never win.

I love this country that we live in.  I am so proud that I am the wife of a heroic man who spent his life defending it – and protecting us.   I Love when people recognize and remember his sacrifice.

So today, we remembered all those lost ten years ago.  we watched the reading of the names and I talked about it with my little girls.   Seeing those images of the towers smoking and people covered with ash brought back all those feelings from that day.  But remembering is good. I remember feeling afraid, and so sad for the families of those lost, (I never dreamed I would have something in common with them)   but I also remembered the amazing stories of heroism and hope.  The love of country and increased faith.

Today, at the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial, George W. Bush said,

“With the distance of a decade, 9/11 can feel like a part of a different era, but for the families of the men and women stolen…that day will never feel like history, America shares your grief, we pray for your comfort, and we honor your loved ones.”

“One of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real, and so is courage,”

Bush said the 40 passengers and crew members left a legacy of bravery and selflessness which inspires America. “For generations, people will study the story of Flight 93,” he said. “They will learn that individual choices make a difference, that love and sacrifice can triumph over evil and hate, and that what happened above this Pennsylvania field ranks among the most courageous acts in American history.” 

“We have a duty to live our lives in a way that upholds the ideals for which the men and women gave their lives – to build a living memorial to their courage and sacrifice,” 

a living memorial. I like that.  We are working on that every day.