9/11: Where Were You?

I was reading a newspaper a couple weeks ago and they were calling for stories in order to feature where their readership was when the 9/11 attacks occurred. I have not been able to stop thinking about it ever since.

Where was I?
I was at home, far away from the danger, in Las Vegas. I still will not ever forget it though. Ever.


Every day, I used to wake up and turn on the morning news while I got my children up and moving around for going to school. This particular morning I had a house guest: my niece's mother was staying with us for a week, and so she was watching the news as well. From the point when we snapped on the TV, the news reporters were debating what had happened with the first hit. No one could imagine what had really occurred. We were awestruck by the smoking skyscraper. The reality of it all was inconceivable, until we watched on live television—an airplane go into the other tower! I saw it as it was happening. Even with this first-hand knowledge, I can not comprehend how/why it happened.

I was screaming at the television. The Pentagon. A field in Pennsylania. Brave people. Scared people. People jumping from skyscrapers. Fire. Smoke. Ash. Tears. Sobbing. Destruction. Then, I was completely paralyzed emotionally by the scene before me and the inability to do anything about it. I was a witness with no ability to do anything but scream, cry, and then suffer from numbness. The tangible, physical distance between where I lived and where the tragedy occurred has made it difficult for me to fathom those events and the aftermath to this day.

What has changed for me since then?

I think twice about wanting to go on an airplane due to the possibility of a full-body scan. I look at firefighters and all emergency response professionals with an even higher regard. My brother who serves in the U.S. Army has spent more than half of the past decade in the Middle East. My tree out front has scars on it from having that yellow ribbon tied on it for so long and so many times. Better it has the war wounds than my brother though. Most decidedly better.

I have an actual disaster plan if something happens while my children are at school. They look at me like I am nuts when we talk about what to do/where to be, but I want to be able to get my kids if all garbage breaks loose. I am NOT going to rely on the school's plan to go as planned.

Upon entering any tall building, I think about the people I witnessed falling to their deaths.

I am not a New Yorker, neither am I even from the East Coast, but as an American and a Christian, my heart grieves for all the pain and suffering still caused and perpetuated today by those acts of terrorism. My prayer is that there soon will come a time when we will enjoy a perfect brotherhood of love and peace among all citizens of our world. I look forward to that day with a perfect brightness of hope. May God be with us as we trust in Him to show us the way.





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