Candy blogs: The day has finally come … the day that marks the 10 year anniversary of 9-11. Like any bittersweet anniversary, we anticipate yet dread the day. I was at work like any other day on 9-11. Someone in the office heard the first news reports and we all trickled into the conference room to watch the coverage. We looked nervously at each other at first, wondering if it was going to be all right to be watching television, away from our work. As we began to hear that there were four planes, it began to dawn on us that this was a TERRORIST attack … on American soil. It felt like it had happened right in our neighborhood. It was a gut-wrenching and nauseating day.
We will never forget: Times of impact: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. 2819 dead from 115 different nations. 343 Fireman/paramedics, 23 NYPD, 37 Port Authority officers. Our hearts are broken, but our flag is still there. God bless America–the land of the free and the home of the brave. (from a post on Facebook)
The “bitter” is obvious. This attack on America wrought by hatred of all we stand for put a gaping hole in our collective hearts. And yet it is “sweet” to remember the precious souls who perished, represented by the numbers above that are all too familiar to us, and the way we became a huge, instant “community” again. We don’t like to let these deep emotions come to the surface. It hurts. But we can’t honor the souls or the event without remembering. So let’s go there.
Shock … that others could succeed with such a bold invasion of the USA. We all lived as though the USA was inpenetrable. Who would dare attack America? What?! Didn’t they know we are the most powerful nation in the world? Others don’t invade America. We don’t have wars in America.
Fear … of the realization that the huge, safe bubble around us had been suddenly and cruelly burst wide open. Our one last security had been taken from us. We might have been insecure about our appearance or our job or our abilities or our business or our parenting or the facade we put on for others but, by God, we were still Americans. Americans ruled the earth. With this one cowardly act, we were suddenly aware of our nakedness.
Grief … the senselessness, the stabbing pain, the betrayal, the confusion over how others could hate America so, the powerlessness, the sadness, the deep sense of loss.
Anger … toward those who would violate us and hatefully murder innocents. Anger that this was the thanks we got for all the good America has and does around the world. Anger for the invasion into our everyday freedoms that we used to enjoy at our nation’s airports and transportation centers and access to public buildings and public figures. Anger at ourselves that we had been caught so unaware.
Resolve … to correct the apathy and blissful ignorance that had allowed such a tragedy to happen in our country. To set the world right once again. To stand together as one to show the world that they can’t mess with America.
But there was also great tenderness at Ground Zero. Impeccable respect for the souls represented by each lifeless body that was brought out. Unashamed hugs, meaningful eye contact, incredible sacrifice and selflessness. There was a renewed sense of community and patriotism all over America. Flags flying everywhere.
I was changed … we started flying a flag at our house. I now always greet, shake hands and thank soldiers in uniform when I see them. I hesitate to travel if we have to fly because of the security and the stress of wondering if we followed all the requirements. I am more aware of the importance of independence and freedoms and consciously live my life to express that. The crazies don’t seem so crazy anymore. I think more about being prepared for disasters.
How is your life different?
As our Pastor Darrel Wiseman said this morning, our hope is in Almighty God alone. Everything about this world is subject to decay and will eventually return to dust. And as the worship team sang, our God is everlasting and unchanging and He is the only One who stays. In His holy presence, we are undone.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-3
Everything we tend to put our hope in is temporary … our happiness, our family, our job, our possessions, our 401(k), our church, our government, our earth. Only God remains. He IS hope.
No matter what lies behind or ahead, our hope is in God alone. Joy springs from hope.