Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” –President George W. Bush September 11, 2001
I had been out tending to who knows what and walked into the front office on the way back to my office in the back. The television was on, but the sound wasn’t. Smoke coming from one of the towers caught my eye and I told everyone to look, that the world trade center was on fire. Before we could bring up the sound I saw a second plane come into the picture and strike the second building.
My first thought was that a news airplane circling the area had accidentally hit the other tower… but it wasn’t to be. Most of the rest of that day was a blur. A blur of emotions and reactions.
I remember discussions about our locality and our vulnerabilities. What was next? How deep would this go?
I remember seeing a friend of mine in his crop duster flying back and forth overhead long after we had heard all planes were grounded, and I remember the thought going through my head that he might be shot down… strange as it seems now. I remember the awkward pride I felt that the President had come into Barksdale, as if our state offered some shelter from the storm. I remember the pride that rose up over our country over the next few days and weeks. How proud we were to be American. The unity. The flags.
I remember also the innuendo a few months later that those few moments our President sat in that classroom with those children was somehow supposedly showing himself to be indecisive. I’m still mad about that. Mad that there are snakes in the grass. Mad that our enemies don’t always come from abroad.
Today is a day to remember the people. The loss. The heroism and the heartache. We should never forget. Like Valley Forge, or Pearl Harbor, this day is part of the fire that forges the metal that is America. 9/11 shall ever be a part of who we are. A call and rallying cry.
For the generation that wasn’t yet born, or not old enough to know, this will be an event to study and learn about. Learn it. It’s important, for it’s a doorway into our countries soul.
For those that lived it, it will be a milestone in our lives. Part of our life experience. We were all changed, even if only in some small way. It was that large.
For those that died, they become a cherished memory. Hero’s large and small. Hallowed, sacred memories of innocents taken from our midst.
For those that lived through it, words cannot describe our praise, and our condolences. We cannot know what you know. Our eyes cannot see what yours saw. Joy and heartbreak. The fear and the emotion… and the pain.
In times of trouble I’m glad that some choose not to run away, but are selfless and willing to sacrifice. Those that will walk boldly thru a doorway, knowing all too well it can all fall down around you.