Thirteen years later, it almost seems like it was just a bad dream, doesn't it? Then again, it's such a part of us that I don't really remember what life here was like before the terror of that day.
I cannot imagine what it is like for the survivors when this anniversary comes around.
Today, I want to ask you to share your memories of that day. Where were you when you found out what was happening? What did you do? Did it affect your faith? Did you know anyone who perished or lost a loved one? Feel free to mention those people so that we can honor their memories and pray for them.
I was 34 years old in 2001, my husband and I having recently settled into our new home with our five children, all under the age of ten. It was very early in Arizona when the Twin Towers were attacked, and I was awakened by a call from my friend Bethany. She was crying and told me to turn on the TV. Groggily, I did, and what I saw was like something out of a movie: The first tower had black smoke billowing around it. The second tower had not yet been hit. As the second plane hit, and then the collapse of the first tower, and later the second tower, I watched with a combination of shock and horror. The reporters were as stunned as the rest of us.
Somewhere in those first minutes I went downstairs to tell my husband what was happening, and we watched together until the children woke up, at which point we turned off the family TV and denied access to the TV in our bedroom. We didn't tell the children anything as far as I can remember (it was too traumatic and confusing to sort through at the moment), and all but the youngest (a one-year-old) went off to school.
My husband went to work, but within an hour or so I asked him to come home. He worked for the government at the time, and I was terrified that government buildings were going to come under attack. No one knew what to think, so my husband, like so many others, came home. Together, we took our baby to his scheduled Gymboree class, and the few people who showed up were as subdued as we were, exchanging somber, worried looks, but barely talking to one another as we went through the motions of singing and playing with our children. We came home, and the rest of the day was spent watching news coverage in disbelief. I've lost the memory of when the Pentagon was hit, or when the heroes of United 93 took down their plane in a Pennsylvania field. There was much confusion about how many airplanes may have been hijacked, and the nation was bracing for more attacks. I don't remember how or when my older children got home.
It was surreal.
Nothing would ever be the same.
I kept repeating to myself, "Lord, have mercy."
May we never forget the victims and their families, and may we continue to pray for all of those who suffered so terribly at the hands of brutal mass murderers.
Please tell me your story of that day.