Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11 Revisited

There are moments in time that are indelibly printed on my mind. I can remember where I was, and details about my surroundings. It's almost like I can project myself back into those moments.

I can still vividly remember where I was on November 22, 1963. I was in my 2nd grade classroom when the teacher announced that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. School was dismissed, but we didn't go home to play. There was a somberness that fell over all of us -- even us 7 year olds.

I can remember when Martin Luther King was shot. I remember vividly the picture of his associates on the balcony of his hotel room, surrounding his fallen body -- and pointing to where the shots had come from.

I remember hearing of Bobby Kennedy's assassination. It was late in the evening, since we lived in Lexington, Kentucky at that time. As a 6th-grader, I could not comprehend why all these good men were being killed.

I remember where I was when both of the shuttle disasters took place. And I remember being in Junior High as we sat on pins and needles hoping that Apollo 13 would make it home safely.

Five years ago today, I remember so clearly where I was. A group of us from the Mesquite Church of Christ went once a year for a two-day golf outing where we played a Ryder Cup format. This particular year we were playing at a course close to Tyler, so we didn't stay overnight. We had played on Monday -- and had a great time. On Tuesday morning at about 7:45, I stood in our driveway waiting for a couple of the guys for our ride to Tyler. There was a little bit of a fall feel in the air.

When my friends drove up, I opened the door to get in. They had the radio on. Frank (the driver) said, "An airplane has just hit one of the World Trade Center towers. We had no idea at that time what the implications were. We had all seen pictures of the plane that hit the Empire State Building way back (in the 30s or 40s), and we just assumed that must have been what happened.

By the time we got to Tyler and walked in the clubhouse, I will never forget the look on the faces of everyone who was there. There was a feeling of numbness and disbelief. We looked up at the TV, and saw the towers smoking. Not long after arriving, the 1st tower collapsed.

I stayed glued to the TV for hours. I kept wondering what could cause human beings to hate so much. I struggled with the injustice of it all. I wondered what our response as a nation would be. And I prayed.

I continue to pray to this day that Islam -- that false system of faith that is anything but peaceful -- will collapse (look at any place in the world historically that they occupy and tell me where "peace" defines them). I pray that it will collapse just as those twin towers did (figuratively). I don't pray for it to collapse under violence -- but that it will simply implode because it is built on a false, sick foundation.

And I pray that we will never forget that day 5 years ago. God forbid that it ever happen again.


jross said...

It was a sobering day. USA went from invincible to vulnerable.

I remember where I was too. It was during chapel at school. It was my first year as an Assistant Principal and I was given the duty to announce the attack to the school. I remember the apple sized knot that developed in my throat. The normally loud, chaotic campus of a secondary school became awkwardly quiet. Throughout the day parents picked up their kids - not just for fear of their safety, but also to be for them what the Spirit is for us - a comforter.

I echo your sentiments regarding Islam. I pray that peace may reign.

jenny biz said...

My heart has an ache today. Praying for those families and for the people that are still dying fighting the war that has followed.

Kyle R. said...

I remember being at work and somebody telling me that one of the towers collapsed and was not there any more. I thought they were exaggerating. Of course, my eyes were in disbelief when I saw in actuality what had happened: massive skyscrapers wiped from the skyline in just a matter minutes. Puts material things in perspective real quickly. It did for a lot of people-- at least for a while.

Beverly Ross said...

I remember it well. It was my only year to serve as an elementary school counselor. I think I spent more time with the teachers that day -- our kids were protected from the news for awhile. The sights took me back to the assassinations of the Kennedys. I was devastated! The children of the Kennedys and the children of 9/11 were in my prayers frequently and are again today. To have your pain revealed on national television over and over again - too much!!!!
The sermon yesterday was perfect timing! Did you plan it like that?