Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

That seems to be the question of the day as we remember September 11, 2001.

I was at my desk, in my office building in downtown St. Louis, working away at my computer. It was a typical Tuesday morning. My friend Rita walked over to my desk, like she had many times before, and said that something had happened to one of the the World Trade Center buildings. Details were still sketchy at that point.

I turned on my radio to try to listen to what was going on. I remember not really knowing what to think. Shortly after the news broke and the realization of what was happening started to sink in, our building was evacuated and we were sent home for the day. I was told it was because of our proximity to the federal buildings downtown.

Absent was the giddy feeling that usually comes with being able to leave work early. As we left and some of us made the long trek to the parking lot where we parked our cars, the city seemed eerily quiet.

As I drove home, it was a beautiful sunny day. I called my friend, Debralee, who was living in New York City at the time, but was sent to her voicemail. I left her a message, hoping and praying she was okay. (I later heard from her - she was okay, but could see the plumes of smoke from the WTC buildings from where she lived.) I also called my friend Melina, who lived in Los Angeles. She and some friends were headed out of the city to a friend's, just as a precaution.

I made it home and spent most of the day watching the news coverage on television. At some point I had to turn it off, but felt guilty that I had the liberty to turn it off and walk away, while others suffered and lost so much.

On these anniversaries I think of those who died and those who lost loved ones, but in church this morning my mind turned to those who orchestrated and carried out this horrible attack, and to those who still work against the United States. I thought about the hatred and bitterness in their hearts and I prayed for them. I pray that their hearts would be dealt with, that they would see the destruction these feelings wreak on so many, including themselves.

Our pastor preached a great remembrance sermon this morning. One of the things he said went along the lines of, "We've gone back to a September 10 mentality. We need to get back to the mentality of September 12."

I hope we always remember and that we continue to pray for our nation, its leaders and the people in it.

I am thankful that I am an American and I am thankful for our forgiving God.


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