Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Choose To Remember

Originally posted September 11, 2006

My grandparents could tell me where they were the day of Pearl Harbor. My parents could tell me where they were the day Kennedy was shot. Now, I will tell my daughter where we were the day her world changed, September 11, 2001.

We were traveling home from a visit with my family. It was a long drive and we decided to spend a night in a hotel en route. Traveling in the car for long periods of time with a little one is not easy.

That morning, my husband had already returned from breakfast. I always either go down for breakfast later, or my sweet husband brings breakfast and coffee up to our room. He has done this since we first married.

He was in the shower when the first plane struck. I was watching the Today show. Katie and Matt detailed the facts they had at the time- that a plane had hit one of the towers of The World Trade Center. No one knew why or how a plane could collide with a tower in broad daylight, on a clear day. Cameras were rolling as smoke filled the air from the crash.

I yelled through the bathroom door and shared the awful news with my husband.

"Must have had been off their IFR," he said.

Then, it happened. The second plane hit. I was sitting at the end of that hotel bed and just began to sob. I told my husband the news. By then, we both knew this was no accident.

My daughter was very young at the time so, I was able to watch the news without her knowing what was truly happening. I just kept sobbing and sobbing, and praying. Those poor people.

I remember going down to the hotel lobby and watching the news with the other guests. We were sipping our coffee just like any other morning. But, even then I think we all knew that this was something big, something bigger than we had ever experienced in our lifetime.

I asked my husband if it was safe to be on the highway again. What would happen next? How do we know what is going on? How will we know if it is going to be safe on the roads? He explained that we were probably safer on the road, than in a hotel- full of people- a prime target for an attack.

We packed our things and headed home, listening to the radio to the rest of the terrible news. The Pentagon. That Pennsylvania field.

The image that will never leave my mind is the photo of the person pushing a grocery cart full of small children, running away from the towers to save their lives. I will never forget that.

I will never forget the events that took place that day. I choose to remember. I choose to remember so that I can learn from what happened, and by remembering, I can one day tell my own daughter where I was September 11, 2001, the day my world changed forever.

But it goes deeper than that...

I have to tell her what it felt like to be afraid of strangers who looked different from me. I have to tell her that I felt guilty for those feelings.

I will tell her how I was afraid to open the mail, and that I would always wash my hands immediately after getting the mail from the mailbox.

I will tell her how the military sprang into action to protect our President, our air space, and our own lives.

I will tell her that I was afraid to go to the mall or downtown, for fear of another attack in a public place.

I will tell her that many people died as a result of these attacks. Some of them died that day. Others died years later in Afghanistan and Iraq while protecting our freedom.

I will tell her that the attacks on September 11 were an act of religious war, no matter what people say.

I will tell her that Jesus Himself said we would be hated for His Sake.

And I will tell her that our God is a God of judgement and soverignty. He is also a God of Love, and because of that Love, He sent Jesus to die on our behalf. Once we ask forgiveness of our sins and ask Him into our hearts, He will dwell there forever. He died for all people- for me, for her, and for Osama Bin Laden. But, we choose to receive His gift or turn it away.

To live in fellowship with Jehovah God, we must take the only path He has given us- through the blood of Jesus Christ. Then, and only then, can a person live and die in peace. Once Jesus dwells in her heart, nothing will separate her from God. No bomb. No war. No man. Nothing.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 35-39


Roxanne said...

There are no more words. You said it all.

Birdie said...

Beautifully said!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

So, so good. She will always have this piece written for posterity. Even your grandchildren will have this.

Just Terrific said...

Great post.....

FaceforGrace said...

What a beautifully written made me think back to where I was that morning- and the picture that sticks with me whenever I think back...
The picture that will forever be with me is the look on President Bush's face when his agent leaned in to whisper the news of the attacks in his ear. He was in that classroom and went from all smiles to a look that I will never forget. Imagine the weight of that moment on his shoulders.

Jill said...

Beautifully said. I was explaining 9/11 to my 9 year old the other night and couldnt find the words. I will show her your post and maybe it will make more sense to her. Thank you!

Phyllis@Aimless Conversation said...

Beautifully expressed.