Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I have been incredibly neglectful of my blog lately. Mostly because I'm trying not to be incredibly neglectful of my husband or my children or my other responsibilities.

But, this afternoon, I needed to brush off the cobwebs of this little site to write down some of the things I remember from that morning when the twin towers fell ten years ago.

Three months pregnant with Graham, I was nauseous trying to cook Tee (2) and Olivia (7 months) breakfast and get out the door. (For the record; it's sex. Sex is how you get babies and I did know that then, I swear.)

I was tired and needing the little break that their Mother's Day Out would provide me if I could just get them out the door and into the car in 45 minutes. I perpetually late.

The phone rang and a friend told me to turn on the news - that a commuter plane -had hit the World Trade Center. That was the earliest speculation, that a random commuter plane had made a horrible error and crashed into the middle of New York's skyline.

As smoke billowed out of the buildings, we continued to change diapers, tie shoes, and grab jackets. Dallas was beautiful that morning but there was a little chill of Fall in the air. Just as we went to walk out the door, we saw a plane hit the other tower and I called my dad.

As a consultant, he flies an extraordinary amount and I wanted to make sure he wasn't in the air that morning. Thankfully, he was home and, being two hours behind, hadn't even turned on the news yet. We talked off and on the rest of the day.

As we walked into bible study, reports that the first tower had fallen came in and the speculations about the potential number of lives lost was staggering. Our study was actually a systematic theology class taught by my friend Paige Benton Brown. She was young but incredibly wise and she spoke with great wisdom and grace on the sovereignty of our most Holy God who, even in the midst of great catastrophes, works in them and through them for his divine purposes. And we prayed. We prayed for the victims, the wounded, the families, the children, for the city of New York, and for President Bush who would bear the burden of comforting a nation.

My friend and I cancelled a trip we'd had planned for months for that upcoming weekend to New York and as news continued to come in that day and in the coming weeks, we were rarely out of ear-shot of a television. I cried a lot. Having buried my mother two years before almost to the day, I was still raw with the emotion of losing a parent. My heart ached for every child that lost their mom or dad that day. I remember later hearing about the impact the attacks had on small burroughs who had lost so many men that they found themselves without any coaches, church deacons, or volunteer fire fighters. We saw the culture of our country change. Terrorism became a word used in almost every conversation. We talked to my brother almost daily. As a member of the U.S. Special Forces, we knew he would be deployed - and we wondered how soon.

The culture of our country was changing as security tightened, suspicions arose, and investigations were constantly taking place even here in Dallas.

Now, ten years later, those little babies I took to Mothers' Day Out are products of a post 9/11 America. When we fly, we don't even question taking off our shoes or being asked two or three times for the same identification. They've learned more about the Muslim culture than I ever imagined they would and are very familiar with some of the distinctions that make up the Middle East. They've seen their uncle go and thankfully come home from war three times. And they've been told the stories of that day when heroes ran into those buildings that were on the verge of collapse in order to save the lives of people who might never even know their names.

My hope for my children that don't remember every detail of that day is that they will learn the stories from those of us who do. And, just as I, over those few weeks was so thankful to be living in the United States, I pray they will always know how blessed they are to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Candy said...

Thanks, Melissa, for this personal and beautiful remembrance of a day we Americans will never forget. And we praise our good and sovereign God for His power to build beauty from ashes.

Love you!


Anonymous said...

Well put Mel...God bless this great Nation! B.