Twelve Years Later

Never. Ever.
Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

I was returning from dropping our oldest off at school listening to country music station US 101 out of Chattanooga when the first plane hit.  A fluke, right?  But as I watched the Today Show, live and in front of the eyes of my three babies at home the second plane hit. Then word of a hijacked plane followed by a plane hitting the Pentagon.

My world absolutely stopped.  This peaceful, happy, perfect world I had envisioned for my children was totally destroyed in a matter of a couple of hours. Our country had been attacked in a most tragic and violent way.

When I could pull myself away from the horrors of what was unfolding before me on television, I went and checked Samantha out of school.  I never took MacKenzie Grace to pre-school.  All I wanted was my babies at home close to me.  It seems I couldn’t hug them and hold them close enough.  They probably thought that their momma had lost her mind; and maybe I did for a brief little while.  I spent my morning with my children in prayer for the lost, for the survivors, for the trapped and for all of the amazing selfless heroes, some who sacrificed their own lives trying to save others.  My heart broke at the children who lost parents, the wives who lost husbands, & the husbands who would have to raise their family without their wives.  

And I prayed for our country.

Audley was working out of town at the time.  Their work day had started long before the attacks and they had no clue what was happening.  When I finally reached him, they shut the job down and sent the men home to be with their families.  

The congregation where we worshipped and my father preached opened its doors all day for people who needed prayer and as a place the community could bond.  The night of 9/11 turned into a prayer service I have never forgotten as the building was over-flowing with people turning to God for comfort, guidance, and praying for the future of our country.  Emotions of fear, grief, anger, helplessness …. all of us experienced them in some way and we all turned to the One we knew could offer us comfort.  
It was an amazing time in the midst of tragedy seeing everyone come together united as one; holding hands with strangers, clinging to one another in desperation.  It was hours of unity I will never forget.

While my children were almost too young to remember, 9/11 and the events that occurred in the aftermath are something we talk about often.  I want my children (who are now teenagers) to understand the world that they live in is so much different than the one that they were born into.  

And I never want them to forget. 

There is no reason to forget…. We have a 19 year old family friend serving in the US Army who posted this on Facebook this morning from Afghanistan:

Over here in Afghanistan we all remember that day and why we’re here. I want to thank all the firefighters and police officers that threw their fear aside and ran in to save their fellow Americans, my brothers and sisters who are serving, have served, and gave their lives defending this country. Your courage is truly inspirational and hopefully we can all learn from the love you showed for one another that day. I’m am proud to walk in the footsteps of the men who came before me and walk beside those here today. I trust my life to every man here in my platoon and there’s no one else I’d rather have beside me. So here’s to remembrance, here’s to the heroes, and here’s to another day of freedom in our beautiful country. Have a great day everybody, God bless.

With a son who wants to join the military in just four years this really hits home.

So, Where were you when the world stopped turning that September Day?

Have You Forgotten?

It’s not something that we talk about daily, but I do know that not one day passes that I don’t think about the events of September 11, 2001.  My husband was working out of town, Samantha had just been dropped off at school.  I was watching the Today Show getting getting MacKenzie ready for prek when on live television the second plane hit the towers. 
So many lives were changed forever as was our ideal world.

The fears, grief, complete helplessness, prayerfulness, closeness with friends and family, love, pride and unity; all emotions that were experienced within hours of these horrific events.  We were nation that turned to God and leaned on each other.  Our nation had not been this united since World War II.
Wow, so much as changed in eleven years.  As elections are approaching, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if most of our country even remember those dark days, weeks, and even those who are still hurting now.  We are not a country who turns to God or even a country united.
It is good to remember these dark hours.  We need to be reminded how fragile life is, how our time is only a gift.  We need to appreciate those in our lives and care for strangers around us.  We need to carry the spirit of the heroes from 9/11 in our own lives as we live them; A spirit of relying on God, giving, hope, love for our brothers, and lack of fear because we are no longer serving ourselves, but serving those we come into contact everyday.   

My younger children don’t really remember that day, but we talk about it.  I want them to know that there are real fears in this world and heroes much more worthy of our worship than the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo.  I want them to know that God needs to be apart of their daily lives, and I want them to know that there are evil people in this world. 
 Have you forgotten?
I will NEVER forget.