Thursday, September 11, 2008, Nashville, Tn., 10:32 a.m., D.S.T.~
I write this with tears streaming down my face as I remember what transpired seven years ago today.
Seven years ago, our nation was attacked by terrorists, leaving us forever changed, forever scarred. Nearly 3,000 men, women, and children died in the attacks which struck New York City, Washington, D.C., and an empty field in Pennsylvania. We were attacked by Al Quaeda, a notable terrorist organization who have attacked many nations in the past with their evil hatred.
Because of that hate, twin towers no longer stand tall, guarding the New York City skyline, the Pentagon was left vulnerable and broken, and people now carry a sense of fear and/or uneasiness about them as they go about their daily lives.
Because of hate, people do not trust each other, and we are left wondering if we are going to be attacked again--and if so, where, how, and when. We are now at war with an unseen enemy, a war that's killed over 3,000 of our brave men and women who are only trying to defend our country and our freedoms.
I was at work when the attacks occurred. I will never forget the breaking news bulletin that announced that the twin towers in NYC were now ablaze; and as we watched the one tower burn, a plane, flying low, came into view, slamming into its twin in a huge, orange fireball. Then we learned of the Pentagon being hit, and then a plane going down. (That plane was intended for the White House; thanks to the bravery of the passengers, they overpowered the hijackers on board--but not before the plane crashed, killing all aboard.)
If it were not for that brave group of people, many more lives would be lost--and who would say where Al Quaeda would strike next??
We were all left reeling in shock. We couldn't believe that such a horrible thing was unfolding in our nation; this was the stuff of nightmares. Yet there the scenes were being played out on our television sets, as people tried to come to grips, make sense of what was actually going on.
I immediately called my husband, Bill, who was home with the younger children. Like me, he was in tears. He told me that the children would be home by noon; the schools were letting out early. He also reported that all flights at all airports across the country were grounded indefinitely until further notice.
I tried to work, but could not. I was thinking about friends who'd worked in NYC (some worked at the Twin Towers; others were fire, police, or EMT personnel); I was wondering if they'd gotten out or made it to safety. The thought of their possibly being injured or killed was more than what I could bear.
Work was very slow that day. I remember that; I probably had something like two patients. It was so slow my supervisor sent me home; I didn't complain. I wanted nothing more than to get back home, to the safety of my family, and greet the children as they arrived from school.
I wondered what woul happen: if any more attacks would happen. All day long the television was about the attacks, on all stations. The children would probably be devastated or confused if they saw what was going on, so I forbade them from watching the news, as a way to protect them from the world's evils.
They would find out soon enough exactly what happened, and I would be there to dry any tears, answer any confusing questions, comfort any fears. So would their daddy. We would hold each of our children tight, in our arms, and shower them with extra love, hugs, kisses.
That night, we went to church, where we had prayer. The presence of the Lord was incredibly strong that night; somehow, in the midst of all our weeping, wailing, grief, sadness over the day's events, He gave us the reassurance that He was still in control and that we would get through this terrible time in our nation's history, and because of it, we would become better, stronger.
After church, we continued to comfort our children, and I began writing the first of many journals regarding my feelings of September 11, 2001, and how it had a profound impact on me. My husband and several of my children started doing this, too, as a way to help them deal with the situation at hand.
I like to say that our writing has helped us heal, move on. Now, we will never forget, but we can reflect, pause, and say a prayer for those affected, and pray that God puts an extra hedge of protection upon our great Nation. It was probably one of the worst attacks on any one nation in history, and now life has been changed in a dramatic way, in ways we couldn't even begin to imagine.
Every year since the attacks, our city holds a community-wide rememberance service for the attack victims; there are speeches, movies, accounts by survivors who were there, and even special music appropriate for the occasion. Many prayers, tears are offered up to Heaven, and we are reminded once again just how quickly life can change, how we can go from joy to heartbreak in a heartbeat.
Tonight, we will be at the memorial service. Johnathon and Ronee' will be singing/performing, as their way of contributing to the cause. Bill will be speaking about finding hope in tragedy, and why it is important that we remember what happened, and why we should never forget.
Our friend, M'Buti Sormiento, who lost her best friend in the twin towers, will also be speaking, and how the events changed her, her way of thinking.
In addition, there will be military displays and honoring those who serve our nation every day, not just the military men and women, but our firemen, paramedics, and our police force, as a way of thanking them for keeping us safe.
It seems since the attacks, our nation has become complacent; we have gone back to the pre-911 mentality, which scares me. If we don't remain vigilent, extra cautious, we could be attacked again (and the next time could be a lot worse than the attacks of seven years ago). Once was more than enough, in my opinion; we need to pray for our nation, pray to God for mercy, grace, our forgiveness of being too comlacent, becoming divided.
We were once the United States of America: we are quickly becoming the Divided States of America.
I can only hope, pray that God shows compassion on our broken nation, and I pray that we experience a spiritual overhaul, come back to God, the Biblical foundations in which our nation was found upon.
In the meantime, as I reflect on the events of seven years ago, all I can do is offer my prayers to Heaven, and pray that such horror will never again come to our shores.
God bless America again, and NEVER forget!!
~Love, your friend in Tennessee, Louisiana Mayrah. :( >tears!<