Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's Your Story? 9-11 Memories

"The greatest lesson we can learn from the past. . . is that freedom is at the core of every successful nation in the world."
Frederick Chiluba, former president of Zambia

There has been war since time began. People will always find ways to disagree and kill each other. Our young country has certainly experienced a number of wars and with them, loss and sadness. I was just a kid when the Vietnam War ended and the Gulf War didn’t seem to have a huge impact on my life, although I know it was devastating for many others. The war we’re fighting now in Iraq is far away but we’re connected by all our soldiers sacrificing and standing up for freedom; ours and the Iraqis’. These are our family, our loved ones. It may be far away, but those fighting it are from right next door. This fact (as with all wars) brings it close to home.

But close to home isn’t the same as home. On September 11, 2001 we experienced an attack on our front yard. We didn’t engage our emotions simply because our soldiers were bravely fighting at a distance. We couldn’t stop our emotions because it truly was happening to us. Each and every one of us. We were attacked. Almost impossible to believe, but true.

Over this past week of remembering, as the anniversary of that event crossed our calendars, it was good to see car lights turned on, flags waving and people sharing stories. The most valuable thing about history is what we learn from it. We've learned nothing if we forget the attacks of September 11.

We live in the 21st century, and for good or bad, from now forward we will see and experience history-making events "live, up-close and personal." This was never more true than with the terror strikes on 9-11. We all stood watching our TVs with open mouths, slack jaws and tears streaming. I didn't suffer the loss of a loved one that day, but I felt like my family (the United States) was struggling to fight a deadly disease (Islamic terrorism) on behalf of one of our own (NYC). We all experienced it together and were united in our emotions of shock, anger, fear and grief.
A terrible day to be sure, but the hidden blessing was that we all stood together throughout, living the journey in real time.
Where were you that day? What were you thinking as the truth of it all began to unfold? Share a thought and keep history alive, not just here, but at work, with young children and strangers at the grocery store.
Diane Markins


Anonymous said...

I remember getting up really early that day because I had a little bit of homework to do before class. I was sitting on my bed when my mom came running into the room and told me to turn my TV on. The first emotion I remember feeling was anger then that moved into sadness. I was confused and numb. They turned our lives and our country upside down and it will never be the same again...


Anonymous said...

I had not yet gone to work that morning. My husband called me on the phone, early, which immediately told me the new was not good. My immediate thought was, “this better be good. I am already running late and I don’t have time for his phone call.” He told me we had been attacked and that two planes had crashed into the twin towers. I told him, “Shut up, your lying”. He said, “I am not lying. Turn on the t.v.” and so I did. After 2 seconds of horror stricken shock, I ran in and grabbed our daughter MacKenzie out of her crib. I held her and kissed her and cried. I was so thankful that it wasn’t my family that had been torn apart that morning and also so sad for all of those families who had. I was so angry that we didn’t see this coming and that we could let this happen to our people. I am still angry about it.

Anonymous said...

I remember being at work and having gone to the employee lounge to get a cup of cappucino where there was also a TV. There was a news flash of the attack on the World Trade Center complete with live coverage and I was actually watching as the second plane crashed into the building. Fear gripped me and it seemed like a horror movie, totally unbelievable. We employees were grief stricken and consoling each other in our shock and grief for those who were killed and injured. Some of us prayed for the families, for President Bush and the city officials, the firemen and policemen who would be immediately standing in the gap to help where needed in such a vast emergency situation. I called my husband at work and he had heard it on his truck radio while making a delivery. The rest of that day and the week or so to follow, I remember just feeling numb and in deep mourning for the tragic loss of so many lives. It seemed so difficult to comprehend the mindset of those who had planned the attacks and of those who had seized control of the planes and had given their lives in such an extreme act of violence against our country where the Statue of Liberty still stood beckoning, "Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

I am so grateful that I can trust a gracious God who has soverign control to take what "men meant for evil," and make something good that will ultimately glorify Him.


Marilynn said...

My neighbor called, I turned on the TV, I was shocked. What was next, were we going to go to war? This country that seemed so safe was no longer safe. It brought this country together in prayer and unity amongst believers. Our church had a prayer meeting bringing tears to just about everyone. That Sunday there was not a parking place to be found. It was like Easter morning, but no one was smiling. God was so present giving many of us His peace.