Before and After September 11

We all have days in our lives that are before and after days. They're the days that we measure our lives by. They help us keep our lives chronologically ordered. They ground our memories, both good and bad.

September 11, 2001 is one of those days.

I rarely watch television during the day and never in the morning. I carefully guard that time with my kids. We get up early so that we aren't rushed. Together we eat breakfast, pack lunches, have a morning devotional and prayer. But on September 11, 2001, my mom called. "A plane hit the World Trade Center. You should turn on the news."

So I did. With my two oldest children--Bruce, age 9 and Veronica, age 7--I watched the first tower burning and then we watched a plane hit the second tower. We were horrified. We muted the sound and had a prayer and then, with a fearful heart, I sent them to school. For the rest of the day, I numbly watched. I saw the towers fall, the pentagon get hit and a plane go down in a field in Pennsylvania. At first it seemed like a horrible freak accident, but soon we knew it was a cunning, well-planned terrorist attack with so many casualties.

The casualties weren't limited to the eastern United States. Families from all over the world suffered. American freedoms were damaged. Our security was altered forever. Our innocence and peace of mind were stripped away from us, leaving us wounded and scared and raw and hurting.

Our economy was dealt a blow from which it hasn't recovered. The company my husband worked for didn't survive and his comfortable, pleasant job was lost. The industry he'd worked for for more than a decade was dealt a crippling blow.

As a country we pulled together and remembered God and each other. We put aside our differences in an effort to show those evil people they wouldn't beat us. We prayed together, we stood together.

For about ten minutes. And then, embarrassed by our vulnerability, our unabashed patriotism, and our brief remembrance of God, some turned their away and we became a country more divided than ever.

Many of the terrorists died that day, too, and yet at times it feels like they're still dealing us blows. They took so much away from us. I fear that some of what they took will never be restored.

My prayer is that American values and traditions will prove to be stronger than evil, that we will remember God and that America will come out of the blinding, choking cloud of 9-11, stronger than before.

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Scott / Lori said...

Thanks for these words! It is a day we won't ever forget. We did come together and pray and ask God to bless our country. If only people would remember where they turn when things are really hard. We are so blessed.

Anonymous said...

Amen to your article. I loved Sunday's broadcast on "Music and the Spoken Word." It was a very good tribute. I love this country so much. We must all pray every day for "real change" to come and that our constitution and way of life will be preserved. LMH