11 September 2011

An Oddly Quiet Sunday

I am sitting at the computer, attempting to get a grip on my numerous lesson plans, and I cannot let go that today is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And it is strangely quiet. Living on a military post, I expected some sort of ceremony of remembrance for this significant day. And perhaps there is one...I am a little out of the loop these days! Or maybe it's because each day we eat, sleep, and breathe the reminder of 9/11, so everyday is a memorial to those historic events. Either way, it is quiet. On that day back in 2001 I would've never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be here on it's 10th anniversary; a military wife, a bonafide teacher, in the desert of Texas, and about to send my husband overseas. I suppose days like these help us to be reflective of life, and that it is just a mist, here and then gone. James 4:14: "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." That is not meant to downplay the significance of life, but rather to help us realize our time is short; we must use all we have here for the glory of God.

Perhaps it's quiet because not everyone can remember the searing images of that day; my students were only 5 and 6 years old when it happened, and when they mentioned the anniversary this weekend there was a distance in their voice; there was awe and sympathy, but no relatability; they cannot relate to what they cannot remember. For me though, I was 14 years old and that day and the following day are forever in my memory. I wonder if this is how people felt after Pearl Harbor, or the OKC bombings, or the various other attacks people have committed against us. What is really strange about my memories is that I only remember the colors red, white, and blue. For example, my English teacher was the first one to catch wind of what had happened; she always watched the news before we got to school, and that day, she couldn't get the TV to turn off (it was a TV/Computer contraption that sometimes worked against you...). She turned the TV around so that we could watch; she had on red shoes. I had on a red and blue striped shirt. When we made it to Geometry, my friend Lydia had on a red shirt and red ribbon in her hair. The next night at youth group, we--teenagers--spent 2 hours at the alter, surrounded by red, white, and blue candles, crying our eyes out and crying out to the Lord. I was so burdened for the ones left behind; I remember weeping for those who couldn't find their family members, those who had perished, and for the fear the attacks put into my heart.  In college I met a guy who's dad had been in the Pentagon when it'd been hit, and he'd not made it outside in time. To this day when I hear personal accounts of that day, I always end up in tears...I probably will for the rest of my life.

And now, 10 years later, we have found two of the biggest offenders of 9/11, as well as many others I am sure, lost many lives, and sent soldiers overseas for longs months or years away from their families. That day though, and the months that followed, showed me, and I think the rest of the country, what it is to be an American again. And as believers, we have an even greater responsibility to continue to pray for our country, for everlasting peace, our national leaders, those who protect us and our freedoms, and that eternal truth would come to those who do not know it.  

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