Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I will never forget

On that day six years ago, I played a Baby Einstein video for Grace, instead of watching the Today Show like I normally did, so I could get ready to go to Bible study. Driving to church at 9:15, I heard an announcement over the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. For some reason I pictured a small charter plane that had accidentally lost its way, and I thought, oh how sad. Switching radio stations, I continued to hear bits and pieces of information on the crash, but couldn't understand what they were describing.

When I got to church, I went to Greg's office to talk to him about it. I walked back out to the Bible Study for a few minutes, and some of the ladies talked about a big fire at the WTC, and we prayed for the people involved. I remember feeling unsettled as they continued on with the Bible study like nothing was wrong. We really didn't understand how bad it was. A few minutes later, a man came in and said the Pentagon had been attacked. I ran back to Greg's office, and found he had set up a TV to watch the news coverage. I stood there breathless as I watched the video of the first tower falling. When the video cut to the second tower falling, my knees buckled. The only thing I could whisper was, "Oh, Dear God."

Gracie took her first steps that afternoon. She was 10 months old and oblivious to her parents' grief and shock. We videotaped her, smiling and giggling, toddling for the camera, with the voice of Peter Jennings in the background.

Like many Americans, I didn't personally know anyone who was killed in those attacks. I was hundreds of miles away from where the planes crashed. I can only speak from my experience, which is not first hand, but rather the experience of someone who watched it all unfold on television. But I still have vivid memories of the disbelief, the sadness, the fear, and the insecurity of knowing that our nation had been attacked. It had been so unthinkable before that day. I grieved with the family members who shared their stories in the following days. I also remember vividly the heartbreaking accounts of the firefighters who sacrificed their lives to save strangers. The workers who dug through the rubble, risking their health and lives to search for the lost. I remember American flags flying from every house on my street. I remember anticipating the President's speech that night, hanging on his every word, for the first time in my life.

My experiences of that day were not extraordinary. Millions of people probably have a story similar to mine. I think these stories are important to share. We walked through a time in our nation's history that had never happened before, and Lord, may it never happen again. So I wanted to have mine written down, so I could continue to remember it in the years to come. I hope I will never forget that day.


  1. I guess most Americans have vivid memories of what they did that day. I was at home watching the news and saw it all happen live. I called my friends at work and told them what happened. Then I went to see Melissa and her brand new baby. I remember pumping gas and thinking "This isn't right. I shouldn't be doing something as normal as pumping gas. Life shouldn't go on normally today." And then I went and spent the morning with Melissa and Megan. And we both sat there with her baby, less than a week old, and wondered what kind of world she would grow up in.

    You are right. We need to always remember.

  2. I was five months pregnant with The Boy and just sat there horrified, unable to believe that I was bringing a child into such an awful world.

  3. Like Beck, I was six months' pregnant.

    I remember feeling horrified that I would be bringing a baby into this changed world.

  4. is Greg your husband? and is he a pastor (mine is)

  5. maypole,
    Yeah, Greg is my husband. I forgot he's not in my profile by name; I think I was going to come up with something cutesy for anonymity, but never could come up with anything.
    And you were close on his profession- he works in music/media ministry.

  6. i sat there with a 5 month old baby and cancer eating at my arm. it was truly a horrible day. and it is good to write it down and remember. always.


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