Black Tuesday-Crash of the Stock Market October 29th , 1929
The day JFK was assassinated- November 22nd, 1963
Man first walked on the moon-June 20th 1969
The day the space shuttle blew up minutes following launch-January 28th , 1986
Every generation of Americans has experienced events that were so important, so traumatic, that almost all of us, young and old, can when remember them. These memories take us to specific moments and specific places where we were when we heard the news. Just mentioning the date or event evokes vivid memories.
It goes without saying, September 11, 2001 is one of those dates.
It was the very first day, of their very first year of preschool for both of my kids. I was awakened by the ringing phone, it was my husband. I hear stress in his voice as he tells me, “Turn on the TV, two planes have crashed into the
I can still picture the light in the living room as I rapidly descended the stairs and dashed towards the T.V.
There on the screen were the two burning buildings.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh Brian, how are they going to help all of those people?”
We talked over some of the rescue scenarios. I imagined people leaving the buildings and pictured firefighters walking up endless stairways. Prayer, I started praying for everyone involved.
I stood and stared at the screen for minutes, when suddenly I realized my alarm was going off upstairs. It was time to get the kids up.
Scout was 4 ½ and the princess was just shy of 3, they were so excited about their first day of school. I had always imagined that their first day of school would be traumatic for me…little did I know just how traumatic it would become.
“Mommy has to keep a warm and positive attitude so her preschoolers will remain calm and positive,” I kept reminding myself, “Don’t let them see you upset.”
It was torture, but I kept the TV off, I needed to preserve the innocence of these little children.
Soon another call came from Brian as he drove home from the fire station, “Julie, a plane just hit the Pentagon!”
The realization came upon me that evil was at work in our country. My mind started swirling. We are less than a mile from a military base, was it possible that the chaos of the morning could come to my own neighborhood? I dropped to my knees in prayer.
As we all know, the horror increased beyond belief. Call after call came from Brian as he drove towards his family. “
My mind went to the scene…the people in the building…the firefighters. Did the people of the WTC get out alive? At the very least the firefighters would be dead. How many? Hundreds? I pictured the crushed fire trucks…
Be calm, be calm. Do not upset the kids.
Brian came home in time to get the kids off to their first day of school. We put on a happy face and ushered them into their classes. There was no joy in the moment and very little of the kind of anxiety I had pictured for that special day.
There was no time to talk with Brian, I was off to my first day of Bible Study Fellowship.
Rushing into the sanctuary, I found my friend. The music started and I felt the emotions of the morning starting to come to the surface.
The leader started talking about what was happening in our country and I lost it. I began sobbing. As I rushed out of the church, many eyes were on me…they were dry.
I don’t think that, at that moment, people on the west coast had begun to figure out that this would be one of the worst days of their lives…that this would be a day they would never forget.
If you are up to it, I am very interested to hear where you were on that fateful day…
September 11, 2001.