Some days, writing must take the back burner. Today is one of those days.
Ten years ago today, my country was attacked.
I was 16 years old, and had just started my junior year of high school. My little brother had just survived some serious health issues the year before. My biggest concern was the fact that I wasn’t being allowed to get my drivers license.
My mom woke me up, telling me the World Trade Center had been bombed. My first thought was “What’s the World Trade Center?” Somewhere in the back of my mind, I realized it was someplace in New York. The furthest east I’ve ever been is Atlanta, Georgia, so New York is just a distant place in my head.
We turned on the news. My brother and sister were already up (a very strange occurrence for them to be up before me), and we watched. Okay, I watched. Mom was getting ready for a Bible study she regularly taught on Tuesday mornings, but I was glued to the TV.
I watched the first tower burn.
I thought of my father, who was on his way to Oklahoma City for a meeting. I was grateful he wasn’t flying.
I watched the plane fly into the second tower.
I barely tore my eyes away from the TV as a man jumped off the tower. Even with all that was going on, I couldn’t understand his hopelessness.
Planes were grounded everywhere. The only flights in the air were military and the hijacked planes.
I still cringe every time I hear a loud plane.
I watched the towers buckle.
I thought of the Oklahoma City bombing, and the children’s nursery that was flattened. As sympathies were spread around the world, New York kept saying to Oklahoma – “You know what we are going through!”
I watched the Pentagon burn, and thought of my uncle. Even though we’re not close, the fact that he worked at the Pentagon made it all the more real. Fortunately, he was out of the country that day.
I thought of my aunt who worked at the White House. When the announcement came that it had been evacuated, my entire family breathed a sigh of relief.
Then we heard about another hijacked plane. But this one went down in the middle of a field. It wouldn’t be until the passenger list was acquired, and family members came forward that had received phone calls, that it would be revealed that some brave men overcame the hijackers.
They all knew they were going to die. So they decided that they would be the ONLY ones to die.
Passengers of Flight 93, we salute you, and thank you for your sacrifice.
We will never forget.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13 KJV