Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering

I don't have anything profound to say about 9/11. I don't have any pictures or poems to post. But, like many other people, I've thought about where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the attack on my country. I used to hear my parents tell about what they were doing when John Kennedy was shot, her generation's "defining moment." For my grandparents, that moment was most likely the day Pearl Harbor was bombed and the US entered World War II. That makes me wonder what that moment will be for my children, should the Lord tarry His coming.

September 11, 2001 began with my husband crossing the street to his office in our church and with me getting our children fed and started with their school work. They were 12, 10, and 8 years old, and we had just begun our third year of homeschooling. I never turned on the TV in the mornings (still don't), and I had turned off the radio when I finished in my bedroom that morning, so I didn't hear the initial news reports of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center in New York. Sometime after 9:00 the phone rang, and it was Wes asking if I had heard any news that morning. I felt the blood drain from my face immediately, because I knew he wouldn't call and ask me that if it wasn't something very serious that was going on. I said no, I hadn't heard anything, so he told me to turn on the TV. Two planes had hit the WTC. This was no accident; we were being attacked. Within minutes of turning on the TV, the first tower fell. The kids and I just watched in shock. I remembering thinking there must be thousands of people in those buildings, and I couldn't quit thinking about the people on the planes. They knew . . . they knew they were flying to their deaths. There was no hope of avoiding it. What must have been going through their minds as they saw the skyscrapers of New York City, and realized that they were flying far too low to avoid slamming into one of them?

Like so many other people, we watched the coverage all day. I told the kids they could work on their schoolwork, or they could watch the news coverage. I remember walking into my kitchen and holding my head in my hands as I prayed for God to help us through whatever was happening. I was scared.

We had our monthly ladies' fellowship meeting scheduled that night, and we went ahead with it, except we didn't have our usual light, laughing conversations this time. We spent time on our knees spread around the auditorium, praying for our country, the victims of the attack, and for strength to face . . . we didn't know what we'd face in the coming days.

I thought it was amazing how much the country pulled together in those weeks. Patriotism was on the rise, and we were all Americans. We all loved our country then. We all loved our President. Now it's back to like it was before 9/11 - no fear of God, no seeking Him, major ideological divisions, hatred of the President and his policies . . .

We've moved on from 9/11, but I think the shock and pain are still there. If I stop to think about it for more than a minute or two, I can still feel the same emotions I did that morning as I stood and watched and cried. I still cry over the untimely deaths, the heart-wrenching stories of loved ones lost, and the stories of the heroes of that day. It's not good to obsessively dwell on tragedy, but it is good to remember.

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