Remembering September 11 – Where were you?
September 11, 2001. Has it been 15 years already? It doesn’t seem possible.
Apparently, it is. Our youngest was in preschool; now, she’s in her second year of college. Our granddaughters are older than our two youngest were the day of the attacks.
Fifteen years – a blink of an eye for some of us; an eternity for those who lost loved ones.
Most of my peers can recall that day like it happened yesterday. Our children and now grandchildren heard – or will hear of – the stories and learn about this event in history class.
The attacks of September 11, 2001, were referred to as the “Pearl Harbor” of our day.
Remembering September 11, I recall the fear and the sadness of that day. Our children talk about how eerily quiet it was. Such a pretty day, yet no one was outside playing. The skies were quiet as all aircraft was grounded. Towards evening, our neighbors gathered somberly. I remember how the stages of grief began to unfold: specifically shock, sadness and anger. I couldn’t tear myself away from the images on TV, and yet I couldn’t bear to watch. I recall how sleep wasn’t an escape, and morning came with the wonder of whether the attacks happened or it was all a bad dream.
It’s hard not to remember the day our world changed. Some changes for the worse, and some for the better. We saw horrific images and mourned the loss of thousands. But we also saw humanity and bravery at its best – strangers helping strangers. We witnessed selfless acts.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV
Sadly, it seems we have forgotten what it is like to put our differences aside for the common good of all. Once, though we stood on opposite sides of politics, religion and countless other opinions, we were able to push that aside and embrace our common humanity. Today, we let those differences define us and stand toe to toe, trying to come out on top of our arguments.
I have written about military life, patriotism and September 11, 2001, countless times. Last fall, my husband and I had the opportunity to stop at the Flight 93 National Memorial, a site so humble and haunting. A site where heroes stopped a planned attack on the nation’s capital, where we had also spent some time visiting that same weekend.
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” Ecclesiastes 3:4 KJV
It is my hope, that as we recall the events of the terror attacks, we recall the humanitarian acts in the days that followed. By remembering the good, we would find our common ground again. Instead of bickering, we would be compassionate. That we stop a moment and remember the lives that were lost and the life that we continue to live.
“I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 KJV
I hope that we remember that evil doesn’t triumph. I hope we remember that even though tragedies make the headlines, that there is still good in the world. That even during tumultuous times, there are still people willing to put on a uniform every day – be it military members, police officers, firefighters or EMTs – to make sure that our little corner of the world is safe. That in an emergency, these brave souls will risk their own lives for the good of a stranger.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV
On this day, we are remembering September 11, 2001. May we #NeverForget
© Lynne Cobb – September 2016