September 11th 2001 seems like a life time ago.
Amazing what ten years can change.
I was in sixth grade.
A naive, eleven year old in braided pig tails much like Pippy Longstocking.
It was a normal Tuesday morning, for me and every other American.
Being home schooled my memories are a little different from that of my peers.
I was sitting at the breakfast table enjoying a bowl of cereal when both my parents came in the room and called me and my sisters and little brother together.
Their faces were so serious, my moms eyes were red and teary.
Something was very wrong.
I remember picturing my grandparents and close friends and family, feeling my throat close and wondering if someone had died.
My dad gently explained, in the best way you can to such a wide age group, the events that had unfolded in the last hour.
I remember actually sighing with relief for a moment.
Oh good! It’s no one I know!
What a foolish little girl I was.
New York was a beautiful place that I had seen in the movies, and sure I knew it was part of America, but not my America.
My America, was a small town in Indiana, surronded by corn fields where every store closes by ten and people don’t even lock their doors.
My America was safe.
My America was gone.
As the day unfolded, and the death toll began to rise, I felt more and more like throwing up.
I sat with my big sister watching the television screen as they replayed the sickening scenes of the world trade center going up in smoke, over and over and over…
And slowly it all became real to me.
I began to realize just how unsafe I really was.
The imaginary force field that I, and every other American, lived in had officially been obliterated, leaving us feeling exposed and naked.
The newspaper came the next day.
And even though my eyes were wide with fear, I could not stop looking at the pictures.
The men, women and children covered in debris.
The people bleeding, screaming and crying in pain and anguish.
The horror in every face.
I had seen pictures like these before, in magazines and in stories about wars in distant lands.
Maybe it was the skyscrapers in the background instead of tiny buildings from the middle east.
Maybe it was because the people all looked like my neighbors, like people I see every day.
Maybe it was because every person in the building was someone’s daddy, or daughter or friend.
But everything in my eleven year old body cringed with fear.
Tears streamed down my cheeks, as the realization of how many people had just died that day.
How many people across the country were weeping.
How many kids just like me, would never see their daddy or mommy again.
I didn’t know what a terrorist was.
I had no idea who Osama Bin Laden was or even really what it meant to be Islamic.
I could not grasp why someone would end their own life to kill so many other innocent people.
I still don’t.
I had a lot of questions, but most of the answers really didn’t make sense.
It all seemed so far away, but almost like it was right around the corner.
It’s strange to think that when my grandchildren read the history books about my life, they will read about how I grew up in a war.
My children have too.
I wonder what their kids will live to see.
There was a time when living in America meant that you were safe and secure, and that ended on a Tuesday, ten long years ago.
The terrorists did so much more than burn a couple of buildings, and kill all those innocent people.
They stole our America, my America, and no matter what we did, it was never coming back.
Today I sit and wonder the world that my children will remember.
And truthfully, the only way for it get any way but worse, is for us to not just remember the day.
Remember the weeks following 9/11?
Churches were packed across the country, because in times of turmoil and uncertainty and loss, we instinctually turn to our Creator. The only thing that us constant and unmoving.
We will never know all the why’s,
Only that no matter what unfolds that God is always there in the midst of it,
With open arms,
Just waiting for us to turn to him.
I will keep the memories with me all my life, as will each of you, but most of all I will keep praying, hoping and working towards the revival that our nation so desperately needs.
Never give up.
Never surrender to fear.
And above all keep faith for a better tomorrow and in the sovereignty of God.