Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Christal Cooper – 1,135 Words
Facebook @ Christal Ann Rice Cooper

“Air Force Wife Remembers 9/11”

September 11, 2001 was a remembrance day for me – not only because of what happened to our country, but because of what happened to me.  I was a first time mom.  My son Nicholas was born four weeks prior, and I was going through post partum depression.

Being a military spouse is not all fun; but it is all rewarding.  Even when the bad things happen, something so tiny can be so beautiful:  picking a flower to lay on a hero’s grave; or simply watching the red, white, and blue flag wave in the breeze.       

      So even before September 11, 2001, I was in need of many heroes and heroines.  The heroines, other military spouses, came to my aid.  They knew what it was like to have husbands gone for three months at a time; to feel fear that their husbands are in danger; and to experience the unbearable ache, especially during the night, when missing their husband was physically felt.  

      Fortunately for me, my husband was home.  We were stationed at Altus, Oklahoma where he was an Instructor Pilot, and in September 11, 2001 my post partum depression was still in full swing. 

I remember that morning so well – it was a Tuesday morning – and I was watching Good Morning America, holding my baby in my arms. 

I was about to go to a Bible Study at the First Baptist Church of Altus.   This was a huge feat for me because when you go through depression like this, you tend to feel so exhausted (even though you may not do much work) that it’s so easy to stay in the house, your brain overcrowding with every dark and negative emotion there is.

      Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson were covering a story about a family man who commuted form a small town in New Jersey to Manhattan every morning for work.  He kissed his wife and children goodbye, hopped into his car, and started driving to Manhattan, the Good Morning American helicopter above, video taping the car’s every tire step.  There was the time at the bottom right hand side of the screen.  Then Sawyer and Gibson took a commercial break. 

      And then Sawyer and Gibson broke in an emergency news alert that there was an accident at one of the Twin Towers where an airplane hit one of the towers. 

There were two videos – one of the tower already impregnated with the airplane, burning hell fire;  and then another video of Sawyer and Gibson watching along with the rest of America.  Another airplane appeared on the video, flying toward the twin towers. 

I thought, “Good they can get some help, but how can that airplane in the air help anybody?  They can’t drop men off in parachutes on the buildings – they’d burn to death.  Maybe they’re going to drop tons of water and kill that fire.” 

The moment the airplane crashed into the building I knew that it was a terrorist attack.  I can’t remember if I screamed, but I do remember saying, “Oh my God.”

I forced myself to go to the Bible Study.  The minute I got to the church the room was empty.  Then a friend of mine walked in and told me that Bible Study had been canceled and that they were having prayer time instead.  I decided to head back home and as I was exiting the room to go pick up my baby from the nursery the same friend said, “They’ve hit the Pentagon.” 

I made it home in quick and safe time, right before there was a standstill at the gate.  My husband’s flight had been canceled and was told to go straight home.  And he and I watched the news.

The most shocking thing of all was that those two powerful towers, more powerful than the Tower of Babel, more durable then Noah’s Ark, collapsed into mini particles of metal, mortar, wood, flesh, and bone. 

I remember them saying that they thought Osama Bin laden was responsible for these terrorist tragedies.  I knew he was suspected of being involved in other terrorist acts, but I never really knew him until that day.  I knew him, and like most Americans, particularly those in the military, police force, firefighters, knew Osama Bin Laden in a very personal, intimate way – that of true anger, desire, and lust.  True anger for what he had done;  desire for him to face justice; and lust for his death. 

I was still going through the post partum depression;  seeing the psychiatrist once a week, the family advocacy nurse once a week, my counselor once a week, and having some military spouses stop by in shifts to keep me company.

The post partum didn’t’ seem as “heavy” as it had been before.   Is it possible that this event distracted me from my every day post-partum life; that I didn’t think about being depressed and that somehow led me to healing?  I don’t know.

But I do know this – if I could go back in time, I would erase this.  But I would never erase my faith and especially the Object of my faith – the Trinity God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I have a few Christian friends who believe God made this happen or allowed this to happen as a punishment to America. 

I cannot and I do not blame God;  this event happened at the hands of an evil man and his followers.  In fact, Osama Bin Laden gave credit to “his Allah” for what happened.  Osama Bin Laden’s “Allah” does not exist and was an evil hallucinogenic in his evil mind.

I am convinced most people are law abiding and would never dream of masterminding the training of terrorists to commit a suicide-terrorist mission attack against thousands of people, many of them women and children.

Osama Bin Laden and his group wanted us to become afraid, defeated, victimized, and unable to become unified again. 

But he was wrong.  America and the world became unified, like Isaac and Ishmael became unified when they buried their father Abraham together. 

The Muslim’s God Allah never approves of these terroristic acts;  the Jewish God mourned at the evil of these acts;  the Christian God, prayed for justice against   Osama Bin Laden and his perpetrators.  Every religion represented by the American people came together, not in the belief of the same God, or the same philosophy, but the belief of one thing:  we are all human beings and as a humanity we must unite, try to find the thing we have in common, and with these things we save ourselves. 

You see it is not the powerful tower that saves America – it is we. And those are my heroes and will be forever my heroes, regardless of our differences.


Photo 1.
Christal, baby Nicholas, and Wayne Cooper.  August 27, 2001.  Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 2.
Nicholas Alan Cooper.  August 13, 2001.  Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 3.
American Flag blowing in the sky.  Public Domain.

Photo 4.
Military Spouse Coin.  Public Domain.

Photo 5.
Wayne, Christal, and baby Nicholas.  October 18, 2001.  Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 6.
Good Morning America logo.  Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law.

Photo 7.
Flower shaped-heart.  Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 8.
Charles Gibson.  Attributed to Bbsrock.  GNU Free Documentation License. 

Photo 9.
Diane Sawyer.  Attributed to David Shankbone.  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported.

Photo 10.
The original World Trade Center of New York City in March 2001. The North Tower (left), with antenna spire, is 1 WTC. The South Tower (right) is 2 WTC. All seven buildings of the WTC complex are partially visible. The red granite-clad building left of the Twin Towers is the original 7 World Trade Center. Background shows the East River.  Attributed to Jeff Mock. Photo taken in March 2001.  GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Photo 11.
North Tower burning after being hit by American Airlines Flight 11.  Public Domain.

Photo 12.
United Airlines Flight 175 flying toward the South Towers.  Public Domain.

Photo 13.
United Airlines Flight 175 moments before it crashed into the South Towers.  Public Domain.

Photo 14. 
Seconds after United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower, a fireball rises.  Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 Generic.

Photo 15.
Pentagon moments after being hit by American Airlines Flight 77.  Public Domain.

Photo 16.

Photo 17.
Wayne holding baby Nicholas after coming home from his canceled flight.  September 11, 2001.  Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 18.
The Twin Towers on September 17, 2001.  Public Domain.

Photo 19.
Osama bin laden wanted sign.  Public Domain.

Photo 20.
Mother and Child (Christal and Nicholas Cooper) on September 8, 2001.  Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 21 and 22.
Chris in dress holding Nicholas.  September 23, 2001.
Chris holding Nicholas.  September 21, 2001.
Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 23.
The Cross not taken at 9/11 site.  Public Domain.

Photo 24.
July 12, 2002 commemorative stamps of 9/11.  Public domain.

Photo 25.
United States propaganda leaflet used in Afghanistan with bin laden second from the left.  Public Domain.

Photo 26.
Christal holding baby Nicholas on September 23, 2001.  Copyright by Christal Cooper.

Photo 27.
Two Americans united as they look at the 9/11 site.
Public Domain.

Photo 28.
Ishmael and Isaac burying their father Abraham in a painting by Gerald Hoet.  Public Domain.

Photo 29.
The Koran.  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic. 

Photo 30.
Jewish Star at the 9/11-memorial site.  Public Domain.

Photo 31.
The cross not taken at 9/11 World Trade Center site.  Public Domain.

Photo 32.
Nicholas and Wayne holding the 9/11 commemorative stamps.

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