Camille Howell Mortensen, our Letter Writer of the Month for September, has written one letter to newspapers in her life — the one we published. She says, "There were things that needed to be said about 9-11."
A registered nurse, she lives in Centerville with her husband and three children. She is originally from Sugar City, Idaho.
As the third anniversary of 9/11 quickly approaches, I've watched with interest the events planned for that day. The University Hospital will hold a Kid's Fair with pony rides and dancers. USU celebrates Aggie Day with football and balloons. A co-worker will get married and my young son will play in a soccer competition. Because of my family's loss, I realize 9/11 will always be more difficult for me than most, but have we forgotten the horror of that dreadful morning?
If you didn't know one of the more than 2,000 people who were murdered, you probably know someone who is now raising their children alone while their spouse fights the war on terror. We've all had our shoes checked or been patted down at the airport. Our world was forever changed that day.
Two years ago, as I walked around the mall in Washington, D.C., I watched the snipers atop the White House change shifts and then was startled by one hidden in the tree next to me as he shifted the weight of his gun.
This is not the United States I grew up in. I mourn that loss, too.
I plan to spend Sept. 11 in somber reflection but with gratitude in my heart. I'm thankful more lives were not lost that day. I'm thankful for those servicemen who bravely fight in my behalf. I'm grateful for friends, family and strangers who loved and prayed for me through a very difficult time. And most of all, I'm grateful for the 26 years I shared with a brother whom I loved so much.
Camille Howell Mortensen
Sept. 2, 2004