Friday, September 09, 2011


I remember exactly where I was that day. I was walking back to the elementary school from the high school after going through file folders for an hour or so. I noticed the hush in the school as soon as I walked in the door. I went up to the middle-school area and met another teacher in the hall. She told me a plane had crashed into one of the towers. Kids were sitting at their desks, eyes glued to the television.

I stepped into one of the classrooms. Just moments after stepping into the classroom, a second plane crashed. I knew right then that this had not been accidental.

This week I read a local newspaper story about a baby who was born on 911. Her mother and family were gathered, waiting for the coming of this baby, in a hospital near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. A nurse came into the room and told the family that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Centers. The mother said immediately, "The US is under attack!" When asked how she knew, she replied, "That is a no-fly zone." She immediately told her husband to gather their other children and go back to Kentucky--Wright-Patterson would be ground zero, and she wanted them away from there. I cannot imagine how she could think so clearly.

The events unfolded as the day went on. I watched the President talking to a class of school children, all the while knowing what was happening in our country, but showing no outward signs of fear. I cannot imagine how he faced them so calmly.

Several days later, David and I were listening to the car radio. A song came on that I have not heard since. It was dedicated to the first-responders at the World Trade Center. I only remember one line: "As we were coming down, they were going up." I cannot imagine how they acted so courageously.

I watched television yesterday and saw a short clip about a family in New York who had lost their wife and mother in the Trade Center. The father was raising two children, a middle-school girl and a twelve-year-old with Down Syndrome. They appeared to be getting along very well. The reporter asked the girl, "If your mother were here today, what would you ask her?" With tears in her eyes, she talked about little things, like what would they do this coming weekend...Her father, brother and she were later pictured at a memorial park that had been built after 911. There was a monument with names on it. The brother stood there and touched one of the names: "Mama." Then he kissed his finger and ran it across the letters. The father stood there and watched.

Thank you, God, for giving us all the courage to go on.


Anonymous said...

I do remember where I was. (I was in my dorm with no tv and a computer but no internet.) I woke up and asked God if there was anything in particular I should be praying about (usually a family member or personal struggle comes to mind). That morning, it was George Bush. I thought it a little odd, since I'd heard people tell me to pray for the president before but it always seemed so pointless (to be honest). A little later a friend came by and told me what was happening, and we went together to her dorm room to watch the news. Later in the day, I made the connection between what had happened in my prayer closet and what had happened in the eastern US. I was comforted b/c I'm such a nobody, and for God to invite me to lift up the president in prayer that morning indicated to me that God knew about and cared about what was happening in the US. I also felt like even though George Bush was sooooo unpopular, and even though many people didn't believe he deserved to be in office, or even that he had been elected honestly (remember FL?), God was backing him that day. (Although I'm pretty sure my own prayers were dang piddly.)

This morning we sang "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." This weekend, Daniel and I keep finding ourselves in conversations about God's "transcendence."

The URL above is for a youtube video of Jon Stewart's speech on his first episode of The Daily Show after 9/11 (I've only seen a few episodes...I'm not really into politics, but I know smart liberals with a good sense of humor love that show). It was a very meaningful and moving speech.

(I love my mamma)

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