Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

It doesn’t feel like it’s been 11 years since the tragic day known as 9/11. I see the images on television and on Facebook and the emotions of that day come rushing back. I cannot even imagine the emotions of those who experienced loss or who were in closer proximity to the events that unfolded that day. 

For me, the day began like any other. I was on the campus of my community college. I had already attended one or two classes that day and had time to kill before my next and last class of the day. I decided to visit the computer lab in the library. Sitting down in the computer chair, I tossed my book bag at my feet and began to check my e-mail. All of the sudden, I heard a man exclaim rather loudly that we ought to attack them. The exact words are now lost to me. I was surprised and annoyed to hear someone speaking so loudly in a library. He sounded so angry.

I didn’t have much time left before class, so I logged off the computer and hoisted my back pack on one shoulder to exit the library. I stepped into the foyer and drew to a fast stop as I saw a gathering of students to the television mounted to the ceiling in the corner of the lobby. My eyes traveled up and took in the horrific scene of a building consumed in fire crumbling upon itself.

I stood transfixed, alarmed, and confused. I didn’t yet know this was on American soil. I didn’t recognize the structure. Then camera panned and I saw Lady Liberty and I felt the immensity of this --- whatever this was – happening in my home land. I remained there until I learned about the plane crashes and that it was evidently an act of terror.

I realized my class was starting any minute and decided to leave the building and head for class. As I walked I pulled out my cell phone to call my mom. I felt compelled to contact my family even though we were nowhere near the danger. The call didn’t go through. I tried again to no avail. I looked about me and saw students everywhere along the walk ways on campus talking on their cell phones. I realized everyone was trying to get through to somebody. I tried once more and she picked up. She and my grandparents were already aware of the events.

I hung up and continued to class to find a note scrawled on the chalk board that due to the present events the class was cancelled. Somewhat out of sorts and lost amid the unfolding events, I headed for my car as I was to work that afternoon. Arriving at work I found my co-worker concerned about her husband who was in the military as he may not be able to leave the base that day. She had the radio on and hadn’t seen the footage yet.

We ordered lunch from the cafĂ© down the street where she first viewed the footage on their television. The day passed in this surreal fog of unbelief. I arrived home, ate my dinner, did my homework and then sat before the television. There was nothing to do but continue to watch the news. The local news began to ask people to come to the Red Cross to donate blood. They showed the packed waiting room of local citizens awaiting their opportunity to give. Then the people broke out into song, “God Bless America, land of the free, stand beside her and guide her . . .” The voices rose together poignantly. The emotions of the day finally found relief and I cried. My nation had been brutally attacked, but Americans were rallying together to serve and to humble themselves before God. I heard the hope in those voices of strangers joining together in song while waiting to give their blood for others.

I could take this post further and use it to discuss the current state of America or the need for a return to God in this nation, but to honor 9/11 for 9/11 and not to use it for any purpose of my own I will close this article without any such commentary.

I will never forget 9/11.