I will never forget where I sat and what I was doing 10 years ago today as our nation underwent terrorists attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent citizens. I was sitting at my mother's house feeding my then 5 week old daughter. We were in her area because we were headed to the pediatrician for her one month visit that day. I had just turned on the TV and Good Morning America was breaking in that there had been some kind of explosion at the World Trade Center in New York City. I remember sitting there in disbelief and calling Jason to tell him what had happened. At the time no one knew the complexity of how bad it was going to be.
I don't think I quite grasped the magnitude that a plane crashing into a skyscraper meant that people were in that building dying as the nation watched. When I saw the image of the north tower smoldering with its gaping hole in the side, that reality grasped me a little harder. People were losing their lives right before our eyes. I remember the news coverage at first thinking this was a tragic accident. We watched the live coverage as the second plane came into view and watched as it slammed into the south tower. A large explosion ensued The horror of the event that I had just witnessed as new young mother. I was watching the moment that would forever be forged in history books. I remember covering my mouth and gasping as the cause became evident. America was under attack.
A short time later the news coverage panned to the Pentagon, where a third hijacked airliner had crashed. More innocent lives lost and more destruction. At this point no matter where you were and who you were with everyone was gripped with a fear we had never known. How could such a horrific thing happen here in America? Then Americans got word of the downed flight 93 in Shanksville and then the towers collapsed. You would almost feel guilty for breaking away from the TV because you knew so many lives had been lost that horrible day. My eyes were glued to the television as everyone watched these towers disappear from the New York skyline in a cloud of dust and debris.
It was a numbing day. There seemed to be a hushed and somber feeling wherever you went that day. We watched news coverage and drank in everything about this day. I remember going home and still following the coverage late into the night including those late midnight feedings. I remember wondering if it was over or whether more attacks would come. I'm not sure I slept a wink that evening. I thought about how terrified those on the hijacked airliners must have felt knowing these were their last moments on Earth. I cannot fathom fear so great. I cannot fathom how harrowing those last moments were for those trapped in the towers. That evening I struggled knowing there were children who had parents that would not be coming home. Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, friends, and family were gone forever; their lives taken by those with no regard for human life, even their own.
This morning before going to church the girls and I watched a documentary that we recorded last night that showed the news coverage as it happened. They have been viewing some history videos at school this previous week about the horrible day and had been asking questions so I felt this would be a way to show them how America was gripped 10 years ago. The feelings from that day all came rushing back. Now as an adult and as a parent, it means so much more. The magnitude is somehow greater. I have talked to my children about the events of that day and its gravity about events such as the Challenger explosion. Our nation has rebounded from the tragedy, but its impact is still being felt the world over.
At church this morning, our praise team and band did a beautiful song called "Beautiful Things" and as they sang all the names of everyone that was killed that day rolled across the screen. It was a moment that put chill bumps on your arms. This afternoon the girls and I along with my mother visited Kennesaw National Battlefield. They had placed a memorial there by placing an American flag for all 2974 people that lost their loves that day. It put it into perspective even more just how many people were killed that day.
On this 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, I remember those who lost their lives and the many families affected by this senseless tragedy. I remember. Please take a moment on this beautiful Sunday to remember those afflicted by the events of September 11, 2001 and their families. Remember the heroism and the selflessness of the first responders, the passengers on flight 93, and those who came together in the days following to protect our country and comfort our citizens. Remember.
Do you remember where you were when the news broke of the attacks?
GOD BLESS AMERICA
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14