“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You?

There are certain events in our lives that mark us. That change how we are. That change how we think... that mature us too quickly... and make us wonder...

I had not been born when President Kennedy had been assassinated.
Two days before I was born Martin Luther King, Jr. had been killed.

But I do remember where I was when I heard about
The Challenger crash in 1986
Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995
Columbine in 1999

and the World Trade Centers.

I was asleep when the first plane hit. I woke up and Anthony had the television on... I watched in disbelief as over and over and over again the first plane hit the building. I remember thinking that there must not have been anyone on board. There couldn't be. That plane had to be empty.

And then it came. The second plane. Well, I just thought they were replaying the first plane. No, a second plane. And within a few minutes someone at the Pentagon saying they felt something. And I thought "What a reactionary... nothing could happen to the Pentagon." On and on it went.

I went to Bible Study that Tuesday morning. I thought we would all be taking the morning to pray. But it was business as usual. I think we came together on Wednesday night to pray... You see living on the west coast... we weren't in the midst of it all. It took some time feel the aftershocks.

We were supposed to get on a plane on Friday, September 14th. Anthony's brother was to get married on the 15th. Anthony and Christopher were to be in the wedding. Could we get there? How about a train or could we drive? Not enough time at this point.

And on Friday the 14th quiet airports started to hum again. Yes, our flight was one of the first to take-off. But our parents begged us not to... not even for a wedding. They could not live with themselves if something happened to our flight. The unknowing. The fear.

We stayed home and grieved. Being away from family during good times and bad... is so very difficult. I remember Anthony's mom telling us that she asked that the wedding photographer not take a family photo... since not all of the family was there.

I had been to the top of the World Trade Center back in 1985. I used to work just minutes from the Pentagon. I would pass it each morning on the way to work. We still fly in and out of Dulles Airport on United Airlines.

It's not the same anymore. Christopher will never know of a world without 9/11. And even though he was too young to remember. He will never be able to forget.

We will never forget.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...


I think we're all pausing to remember the horror of that day. At least we should. I cannot linger there for long, but I can walks its monument for a few moments and give thanks for the freedom I breathe this day.


BP said...

Beautiful tribute to this day. It gave me chills to read your memories and your grief of missing out on the family wedding.

I was teaching 2nd grade and we were having a lesson about the parts of a plant. I couldn't grasp what was happening when fellow teachers told me in passing what they knew. After school our principal gathered us together for prayer and sent us home to be with our families.


Wonderful post....9/11 will never be just another day.

just lisa said...

thanks for sharing that with us!! I think we all remember where we were that day - so sad.

Check out my blog - I've tagged you!!!

Beloved MaMa said...

I will never forget...My oldest son was just 4 when it happened and he couldn't quite grasp what was going on, yet we couldn't shelter him either...

Thank you for pausing to remember. My husband notes that this must have been what it was like for those of the Pearl Harbor days.

Tammy said...

I will never forget. I was teaching school and we went to church immediately and prayed. It was the only place for comfort.


sprinkes just for you!!

a portland granny said...

The feeling I had in the pit of my stomach on 9/ll, was the exact one I had when my Dad came home from opening his grocery store for the day and announced to us that we were at war because Pearl Harbor had been bombed. The first time I was 9--and the 9/11 event sixty years later, was as frightening in my adulthood, as it was as a child. I believe it is the mystery that surrounds something of this magnitude and the concern of where it will lead.

Thanks for your moving post.

Anonymous said...

How well do I remember 9/11 and the events that followed the next few days. I will always remember. Thanks for your post.

elizabeth embracing life said...

This day has come and gone and yet even reading your accounting of this day brings back all the memories of worry. My aunt works down on wall street and hearing her story takes the media's version and magnifies it by 100. I cry every single time I think what that city went through.

In her words...no one had radio's and cell phones were not working. She had no idea for two hours what happened. She was one building over on 62nd floor and everyone just ran for their lives...into the city with nothing but blackness. She and a stranger ducked into a bank, hid under counters dumping water onto papers to put over their faces as they sat and waited for the blackness to go away, the smoke, the ash, and the noise of it all. I just can't imagine. Yet, God is still in control.