19 years ago, on this day, I was still in Elementary School. It was a day like any other, we had already finished our breakfast and some of our morning instruction. Somehow the teachers must have been notified. Mrs. Teal turned on the television set in our classroom, and we were suddenly watching the images of planes flying into very tall buildings.
Whatever the news anchor was saying does not stand out to me, and no explanation was given as to why we were so suddenly watching these images over and over on a loop. We sat mesmerized and completely phased by this unannounced interruption to our usual lessons.
After some immeasurable amount of time had passed, we all jumped when the intercom in our classroom came to life. The voice over the speaker asked Mrs. Teal if she would please excuse me, as apparently my mother had come to take me home.
Confused, but excited to be leaving school for the day, I ran outside to where my mother was waiting and happily exclaimed “Mom, why are you here because of those planes hitting those towers?”
Sheer panic and dread instantly crossed her face and she admonished me, harshly, telling me to keep quiet and get in the car. I was a sensitive child and can still be both; I bawled my eyes out on the ride home wondering to myself why she had removed me from school – a miracle – just to cut me down.
Once home, however, she sat my sister and I down, turned on the news, muted it, and finally gave me the explanation I had been seeking since Mrs. Teal had first turned on the TV. In that moment, my upset vanished. I, like many kids I’m sure, became one HUGE step closer to being an adult that day.
Nine years later, as part of our graduation ceremonies, I was asked to speak before my Class. September 11th, 2001 had made such a lasting impact on me that it came up in my speech. As I expressed it at that time, “no one who lived through the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11 will ever forget what happened that day.”
Another ten years has gone by; now an adult slipping ever-closer towards middle-age, I still am stopped in my tracks when this date rolls around. For me, as a child, it was a day of confusion, elation, deflation, and concern. The concern still lingers.
Someday, somewhere, we may experience such violent, destructive, and impressionable acts again. Lamentations may be many, but the best we could ever do, is honor our dead and carry on – thanking our Almighty God, that such events are few.
Wherever you are today, and however 9/11 affected you, Never Forget those we lost; Never Forget the motivations of the men who would perpetrate such acts, and Never Forget that our savior Jesus Christ offers us all eternal life.
God Bless you, and God Bless these United States of America.