It has been eleven years since those planes flew out of the sky and changed all of our lives forever, at least they certainly changed mine. Even though I knew no one who was killed, knew no one in the air that morning, had absolutely no ties to anyone involved with what we’ve all come to call September 11, for me it was a defining moment, and I do not think that I am the only one who feels this way.
I’ll never forget how that morning smelled. I was up earlier than usual because I had to be in Abilene before 8:00 a.m. The air was crisp; it didn’t quite smell like fall, but I could certainly tell that fall was quickly approaching. In retrospect, it always seems to me that everything looked clearer than usual that morning with absolutley no haze, almost like looking at life through a freshly cleaned mirror. I’m not sure that I felt that way again for years.
I’ve told you already about my experiences that day, so I won’t bore you with those details, but I was one of those people who just couldn’t leave it alone. I couldn’t pry myself from the television, and I couldn’t watch without tears, lots of tears.
Every now and then I would make myself turn off the set only to find myself back within a few seconds because I was determined to be watching the moment that all of those trapped people walked out of those buildings once again. For you see, I simply could not accept the fact that they were not going to be coming out again.
I sat and watched and cried with those husbands and wives and sons and daughters and moms and dads who held up photos and signs and personal effects of their lost loved ones, and I realized that it was only by the grace of God that it was “them” and not “us.”
And then, almost as if it were the most normal thing in the world, I saw Congress join together in a prayer and song, God Bless America, at that. Thousands gathered in Yankee Stadium and what did they do? They prayed.
Then, Home Depot sales began to go through the roof as Americans realized that when it was all said and done, it was Home and Family that really mattered to them. For the first time proably since World War II, we were one country, North, South, East, and West, and we loved each other…and then time passed…
…Since September 11, 2001, we’ve been involved in wars, and we’ve fought about fighting those wars. We’ve fought about social programs and we’ve fought about unemployment. The state has fought religion and religion has fought what it considered corrupt politicians. And, we have forgotten that we love each other as Americans.
My hope is that as we watch the coverage that comes with yet another anniversary of that horrible day, we will once again be made to remember that we are family, if not by birth, by the blood shed to make us all Americans.
It is true that we have tottered and we have shaken in the past eleven years, but we haven’t fallen. With our renewed support and willingness to do whatever it takes and with the grace of God, we can still right help this wonderful country set itself back on solid ground.
And after all, isn’t it the least we can do for those who fell that day? May God Bless America!