Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Where Were You?

A lot of folks are asking each other, Where were you on 9/11? (I had just walked into 2 Street from FHS, where I had spent an hour in the file room, and was met with the news.) That sort of question has been asked a lot over the years. Where were you on 9/11? Where were you when the shuttle blew up? Where were you when Reagan was shot? Where were you when men walked on the moon?

I have memories of all those things. (That, folks, shows how old I am!)

The "where were yous" go back farther. I remember when Martin Luther King was assassinated--I remember our house mother at Georgetown College's fear that the students at KSU would come over and attack our dorms. I remember when JFK was assassinated. I was in class, and a student who was cutting a class, sitting in his car in the parking lot, came runing in to tell the folks at the principal's office the news. At first they didn't believe him, but pretty soon the radio on the intercom was all we heard. I remember Mrs. McKechnie, my Latin II teacher, saying, "I don't know how you personally feel about prayer, but this is one time when it is appropriate to pray in school." I remember the Cuban missle crisis and stocking my school locker with canned goods, a blanket, and deodorant in case of nuclear attack. I remember when Kennedy was elected, how all the Protestants were worried about this Catholic president, and news footage showed nuns dressed in their traditional black and white habits coming from the convents in droves to vote. I remember newspaper headlinees of Castro coming to power in Cuba. I remember watching Queen Elizabeth's coronation on black-and-white television with our neighbors in Eminence, before I started school.

David's memories for historical events go back farther than that. He remembers when Israel became a nation, in 1948. Even though he was three at the time, his mother wanted him to know what a significant day that was. Our parents could tell you where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the nuclear bombs in Japan, where they were on both V-E day (victory in Europe) and V-J day (victory in Japan). They knew where they were when they heard FDR had died from a stroke. They remembered Pearl Harbor vividly. Some could remember the fall of Wall Street in 1929.

More important than where we were on 9/11 is where we are now. I just read a great editorial to that effect and will close with that.


By C. McNair Wilson

Where were you, when they raised the price of freedom?
Where were you when our family disappeared?
Are you glad you weren't there?
Did you lose a friend that day?
Are you as changed today as you felt on that Tuesday or did you change your
We all changed our minds, but did it last?
Are the changes we now live with making our lives safer, better?
Will we need to change more and are we willing?
Do you like taking off your shoes at the airport and not carrying water or
Is it worth being safer in the air?
Are we?
What cost Freedom?
What price Liberty?
What have YOU done since 9/11, 2001?
What will you do?
Have you changed?

Watching TV that morning, I saw a man in a suit and tie, carrying his
briefcase come out of the fog or the dust storm of the fallen Towers and
walk right up to a news crew and say, "There's a reason why my life was
spared and I'm going to spend the rest of my life trying to find that

Do you hear him?
Do you know the reason he was spared?
Are you aware that the reason for his life has been the same since the day
he was born?
So, too, there's a reason you were born--did you know that?
There's a contribution your life can make. Are you ready to make that
Are you ready to be a contribution?
Will it take an attack on your life to get your attention?
Are you aware that whatever your circumstances, you are NOT covered in dust?

What will your contribution be?
You can make a small change today and a bit more tomorrow.
Did you know that if you pick one area of your life to expand on, to improve
on just 1% a day, that in 70 days you would be twice as good as you are now?

If you haven't started the change you wanted to make, you can start now. You
know it's only too late if you don't start today?

Did you know it took three months to completely extinguish the fires at
Ground Zero?
Did you know they never even discussed not finishing the job?
Can you, today, brush off the dust and start making your contribution?

Did you know the rest of us need you?

Copyright 2006 C. McNair Wilson. Permission is granted to send this to
others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.


Love to all, and God bless.


Jenn Hacker said...

I've read this five or six times, and all I can think is "Wow!" I hadn't commented on it, because it seemed kind of lame to just write "wow", but then I noticed other people must be having the same reaction as they hadn't commented either. So I decided to comment so that you would know I had read it, was thinking of you, and love ya bunches!

Just Julez said...

I second Jen's reaction.

I was in the library at SSS volunteering when Tricky Ricky came over the intercom. I remember looking out the windows and seeing a federal courthouse, the county courthouse, and thinking that me and all 4 of my kids were sitting between that and the Capitol in the middle of an attack on my country. I went and withdrew the little ones from SSS and then went and got the big two from FHS, and went home and watched over them. I also remember that the Capital grounds were empty of everything but the FBI. I have no idea what I was thinking at first except for "must protect my babies".

It just occured to me that every mother in Iraq probably feels that way every day.

Lydia said...

Very interesting and thought provoking. THanks, MOm!

I remember where I was when the Challenger blew up--on the floor in the living room--I think it was a snow day--watching t.v. and coloring. I also remember where I was when 9/11 occurred. In my office at EKU. My friend, Wes, who I played for, came to see me and asked if I'd heard what was going on. It was about 10 by that time. I'd heard someone in the hallway mention terrorists and thought nothing of it. Then, Wes told me the news.

Geron was at the horsepark with a revival team that was serving at our church that week. They left immediately to come back to Richmond and try to get a hold of friends in New York.

Those are the major world events I remember vividly.