Ten years on, and It’s something I’d rather forget.
But I can’t.
Earlier today I spent some time online, looking at all the hundreds of horrific pictures we have to remind us of that day.
And I nearly lost it.
Generally, I’m a fairly ‘cool cucumber’ when it comes to emotional reactions, but this is different. So very different.
I’m not even sure what to say, or where to start. And, really, what hasn’t been said already, maybe a thousand times? I’m quite sure there are tens of thousands of blogs dealing with this subject today. What more can I possibly add?
But this isn’t so much about being heard, as it is about letting go. I think it’s something we all need to do. Let’s go back…
We live in the ‘Information age’. We have wireless phone service, wireless internet, GPS, and live news feeds from anywhere in the world. You are virtually there.
So it was for millions on the morning of September 11, 2001.
I was working nights at the time. After coming home and showering, On this particular morning, I decided to catch some news on TV. As soon as the set came on, I saw the first tower burning and on fire, with smoke billowing out into the sky. I can still remember thinking how blue it was that morning. The newscasters who were commenting at the time didn’t even know for sure what had happened. They were speculating as to what could have caused it. Some, they said, thought it might have been a ‘small’ plane that had crashed into the tower.
While they were talking, I saw the second plane.
It was a live feed by satellite, the kind of thing we take for granted. I watched as an airliner crashed into the second tower and exploded in a giant black-orange fireball of jet fuel. The newscasters didn’t catch it for what seemed like several minutes, while I sat there on the floor in shock, staring at the television. I think I was saying ‘Oh my God, Oh dear God’ over and over, but I’m not sure. Soon after, everyone was watching as both towers came down, killing many more people.
Later, when I went outside I was watching the sky, looking over my shoulder, as if I thought it would be falling on me and everyone I knew, full of crashing planes.
Of course I had spent much of the day in prayer for the victims and their families. But something all too real had made an impression on my heart, and the hearts of all Americans that day. Something that time has not erased.
This was the largest number of Americans ever killed at one time on our native soil by a foreign agency. History was changed. Our sense of security was shattered, and any idea of Isolationism has gone out the door. But these are just sterile conclusions. It’s really a matter of the heart.
Where were you on that morning ten years ago?
We may never be able to forget, but I believe it’s time for us to start praying for God to heal the wound, and help us to let go of the pain. That is my prayer for both you and I and for all of America on this day, September 11, 2011.