Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you on the day the world stopped turning?

Posted by: Paulette

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I am reviewing that day in my mind.
I was taking Dave to work and had a crying baby in the back seat. As we panned through the radio stations to find some music to sooth him, we realized that they were all taking about the same thing.  
Our country had been attacked. Never since Japan attacked Peal Harbor, had our nation been attacked on this level. 
While in the car, I'd heard about the attack on the pentagon building. I arrived at my grandmother's house soon after and walked in prepared to take her shopping. It was Tuesday. Our designated day to do her grocery shopping and go to lunch. She loved to spend time with her great grandchildren, and myself. I asked her if she'd heard that the pentagon had been hit by a plane. She said, "yes, and the Twin Towers too." I didn't know at the time what the Twin Towers were. I soon found out that they were in New York. 
 Later, I heard accounts of my cousins who lived and worked just blocks away of their experiences. It must have been a horrific experience. One of the good things that came from it was the unity that all New Yorkers felt at the time. There was no more mistrust. Strangers were holding hands and helping those who needed to be held up.

We soon learned that there was so much more happening that day. Ordinary people became heroes. A country divided after a contested election came together and flew banners of national pride.
 Grandma and I did our shopping as usual. I picked up Dave from work and he and a good friend watched hours of coverage of the fallout. I felt helpless to do anything for the people who were in the midst of the crisis and so did only what I could do. 
I bought a flag and hung it. And went about doing errands.  And I prayed. I was 8 months pregnant with Jonny, and thought, "how can humans do this kind of thing to other humans?" Or better put, "how can children of God do this to our brothers and sisters?" 
"what kind of world am I bringing this child into?"

Many people were paralyzed with the horror of what was happening. I  think I was prepared. My teen years were spent in Alaska during the Cold War. I  remember the celebration of the Berlin wall coming down. Nuclear attack was ever present in my mind as a real possibility. If people could walk across the frozen Bering Strait, why couldn't the Soviets attack military personnel in Alaska? 

I had already reviewed  this scenario in my mind many times. It was already real to me.
We are all stronger than we  think we are. And these things that are happening are a sign of better things to come. I refer to the second coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. I testify, that He is real. And he does not leave us on our own to deal with our lives. He is there to lift us up, if we are willing to take His hand.

For those of us who experienced 9/11, even from across the country, it will always be remembered with feelings of horror and hope. And the heroes will always have our thanks.

So, where were you when the world stopped turning?

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