I have to admit, I woke up this morning much the same as I woke up on this day 8 years ago. It was like any other day. There is not a calendar hanging within eye shot anywhere in my house, and my travel calendar that I essentially live by these days was safely tucked away for another day. I had let the date escape me. Until I turned on the news. It was then, that I remembered.
9/11/01: I remember.
I remember skipping my 9:25 class because I had a test later in the day, and hadn't read all of the book I was supposed to read. I remember walking out of my dorm room to begin laundry across the hall. And I remember watching in horror as the second plane hit. I remember the words "This is no accident" coming from the mouth of the news reporter. And I remember wishing someone was there to watch with me. Everyone else was in class.
I remember the flow of people coming back to the dorm, having no idea what would greet them. This was in the time when Facebook Twitter, texting, and all of the instant information giving avenues we have today were not around. If I remember correctly, few people had cell phones then...at least not many of MY friends did. I remember standing in the lounge of our dorm with people I didn't know, watching the horrible scenes flash across the screen again and again. I remember a special prayer service at 11:00 where we prayed for the victims, prayed for the families, prayed for peace. In the midst of so many questions and in the midst of fear, we came together as one. Standing room only. And we prayed. Dr. Rader gave word that there were still some relatives or friends of students that had not been reached. And I remember it hitting home. These were people my classmates knew.
Later in the week, we held a prayer service around the flag pole. I remember a plane going overhead, and I flinched. Even in Wilmore, Kentucky, the sound of a plane rattled me. I remember calling my mom eventually, and I remember being sad that I didn't do it sooner. I remember watching members of congress singing "God Bless America" on the steps of the Capitol building. And I cried. For the first time throughout the whole ordeal, I began to see hope again. I saw a light at the end of a dark and death-infested tunnel.
On this September 11th, eight years after that fateful day, I find myself in disbelief. Disbelief that it has been that long. But also in disbelief that it happened at all. Whether we like it or not, whether we knew people on the planes or in the buildings or not, that day marked us. There are images from that day that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, in the midst of the atrocious there are images of action. In the midst of the barbaric, there are images of bravery. And in the midst of horror, there are images of hope. Hope that the story can end differently. Hope that there is still good in people. Hope that there is One who sees, who knows, and who has not abandoned us. Hope that turns darkness to light. Hope that brings life from death. Hope that there is One who brings good. Yes, even in the most death-infested situation. I hope...and I remember.
****My friend Esther brought this website to my attention today. What an amazing challenge to continue to pray for those whose lives were truly turned upside-down that day.****