Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11


Isaiah 40:1
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

Today marks the 11th anniversary of 9/11.  But, I will always recall this infamous attack on our nation as if it happened yesterday.  The horrific images, like the scorching burn of a branding iron, seared in my mind.

It is morning planning time for me.   I have just ushered my homeroom students from our portable classroom to begin the school day in the main building.  Settling down at my desk to grade papers, I flip on my radio to catch a favorite talk show.

I'm working diligently, only half listening, when the bulletin breaks.  At first, I can't believe what I'm hearing.  Don't want to believe it.  How could this possibly happen?

The details aren't clear at first.  I'm picturing a small, two-seater plane which ran off course or out of fuel, crashing into one of the Twin Towers.  Coverage is non-stop but sketchy as reports trickle in.

Then, with reporters on the spot and prepared cameras rolling, another plane dives into the second tower . . .

There is no longer any doubt in my mind.  Our country is under siege.  I am frightened.  Confused.  Incensed.  And, in prayer . . .

I have a full day of teaching, or trying to teach, before I can see my own teens about whom I'm worried sick.  What else could be a target today?  A school?  A mall?  The capitol?

How am I going to comfort my children?  Comfort the students who have surely heard the heart-wrenching news, and who will be descending upon my classroom any moment?

My only relief is that my portable has no television.  The images in my head are horrific enough.  So, imagine my dismay when I pick up my children after school, and find out they've been exposed to these gruesome, terrifying pictures all day long!

Their eyes say it all.  Glazed over with shock.  Swollen from tears shed.  We hardly exchange a word on the drive home.

But, when we arrive and are safely through the door, there are hugs all around. I hold each one tightly and tell them how much I love them.

"Mom," my son, Daniel, says in a choked voice, "it's awful to watch, but you have to see it.  You won't believe it otherwise."

I go upstairs to my bedroom, shut the door, and reluctantly turn on the television.  The images are worse, so much worse, than ever my mind's eye had imagined.  The levee breaks.  All the pent-up emotion, held in for the sake of others, washes over me, flooding my soul with sorrow.

Bitterly, I weep . . .

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion ~Psalm 137:1
~
Where were you on 9/11?

Please pray with me:
Today, Father, we remember in prayer the victims of 9/11, their families, and their friends.  We pray that Your peace and comfort will surround them as memories of this tragedy are especially poignant on this day.  May Your mighty hand rest upon and bless our nation that we might remain safe and secure in all the days to come.  Amen.


45 comments:

  1. Amen Martha, may all of their souls rest in peace <3

    You know each time such attacks happen on our countries I feel scared. The already uncertain nature of life becomes more uncertain with such attacks.The ease with which human lifes are dealth with does not cease to surprise me. Specially when I read a human doing this to another human!

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    1. Thanks, as always, for visiting, Me!
      Man's inhumanity to man is, indeed, a sad and painful truth in this world. Life is uncertain, but we can be at peace when we remember we are God's children and that He will have the final say.
      Blessings to you!

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  2. That was a moment when all the world truly stood still, Martha. Even as I'm reading your post and typing this comment, I'm getting goosebumps. I remember the moment too - we were at work in the evening when someone came in with the news and shock and fear was all we felt even oceans away. Joining you in prayer for the victims and their families and countries and peoples divided by suspicion and fear.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Corinne!
      Indeed, this was the shock felt around the world. Thank you for reminding us all that more than America was devastated by this heinous attack, and thanks for joining me and all of the readers in prayer, dear friend!
      Blessings to you!

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  3. I agree with Corrine, it was indeed a moment when the world stood still. I don't remember that day, I can't even recall my parents' exact reaction when they saw it on Euronews. They did however tell me that they were as shocked as everyone else at that moment. I was most likely in my room playing with my toys then, unfortunately. Or should I say fortunately? I don't even know if I'd prefer to witness such a thing or just stay blissfully unaware.

    It's hard to believe that eleven years have passed. May the souls of the victims rest in peace.

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    1. Oops, I misspelled Corinne's name. Sorry!

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    2. Thanks so much for stopping by, Dave!
      If you were that young when it happened, being blissfully unaware is a good thing. You could have been sorely traumatized as so many unfortunate souls were by this tragedy.
      And, yes, may the victims' souls rest in peace.
      Blessings to you!

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  4. It's 11 years already! I remember that day clearly, I was with one of my in-laws, she's German. She called me to come and see what's happening on the television, I saw the news, but I didn't understand everything they were talking about because it was in German language, and I couldn't understand the language then. The next day I had the chance to watch it on CNN news again...terrible!
    May the soul of the departed, through the mercy of God, res in peace!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Luchi!
      It is hard to believe that 11 years have passed when it seems as though it happened yesterday. From your comment and those of others, it is so clear that the whole world was in shock when it happened.
      Thank you for joining me in prayer!
      Blessings to you!

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  5. The whole world was in shock Martha...we were all united in grief and in prayers. Saluting all those and their family who lost their lives.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Janu!
      Yes, I can tell by your comment and those of others, this tragedy certainly was not contained to the U.S. alone - the whole world grieved . . .
      Blessings to you!

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  6. Martha, I clearly remember being in my office that day. One of my staff had turned on the radio on low. I wasn't much of one to listen to the radio while working, but this must have been a blessing that particular day. As I listened to the streams of news break, my mind could hardly believe this was happening to us. Who? Why? My mind reeled with questions. It made no sense. How could this happen?
    But, I believe that this and other events since that dreadful day in Sept. 2001 are just the tip of the iceberg of what we are to witness in our lifetime. We need to realize that God is in control of his universe; world, and that without Him, life will be gloomy.
    I join you in prayer for the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this tragedy, and for the ones who witnessed this first hand and will live with those vivid memories for the rest of their lives. May we never forget the day our world stood still, for even that moment, and ask God to place His hand around our shoulder and protect us from further attack.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Mary, and for sharing where you were and what you were doing on this fateful day 11 years ago. Your confusion sounds so much like mine at the time!
      Yes, though, we must have faith and remember that God is near, going through our every storm. Thank you for praying with me concerning the victims, families, and friends, and for God's protective hand to keep us safe.
      Blessings to you!

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  7. Something for you Martha -
    http://janukulkarni.blogspot.in/2012/09/cool-enough-to-grab-award.html

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    1. Thank you, thank you, Janu! You are too sweet!

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  8. Amen Martha! The world was in shock that horrible,horrible day! May we never forget and always remember.

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    1. Thank you for coming by, Nelieta!
      Yes, it was a most horrific day. We must ever remember and pray nothing like it will ever happen again.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Very well put Martha. I remember it all to well. I was just arriving at the dentist with my husband and Ian.I heard the initial report onthe radio and also thought it was just a small plane that got lost control or malfunctioned. As we sat in the dentists office, we started to hear more and more as the news came over the radio they were listening to but still had no real picture of what was going on. When we got outside and heard the full report i was so frightened and wanted all my children to be with me. My youngest was home with a sitter waiting to go to preschool. I didn't know what to do or what to think.My husband left for work and I was an emotional wreck! I wanted my older children home from school, my husband to come back, I wanted to run and hide but didn't know where to go. I prayed so hard that day , for all of them, for all of us, for the world.I couldn't watch the images on TV for a long time, I just couldn't bear to see it. I still start my prayers every night by thanking God for keeping us safe for 1 more day, with 9/11 always in mind. I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop but I am able to keep it in the back of my mind until I start my prayers.I will always be greatful for another day for me and my loved ones and all of those who lived thru this horrific event. I trust in God to keep us safe but know when my time comes he will be there to keep me calm and help me thru as he always has.God bless all those who have lost someone on 9/11 and all those still being sickened and taken because of it. ...Gina

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Gina, and for sharing your moving, personal account of that day with the readers. I'm sure so many will identify with your feelings of horror and wanting to have your children and husband safe at home. We had many parents coming to the school to check their children out early that day. That in and of itself made for some chaos and not a little panic, I can tell you!
      Yes, let us continue to pray for all those personally affected by the tragedy and ask God to keep our country safe.
      Blessings to you!

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  10. For what it's worth, I became a fan of Peter Jennings (A'H) that week. His care and attempts to explain the inexplicable to the young were more than outstanding.
    He helped my son put some perspective on this harrowing event.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Roy, and welcome!
      You are the second person to mention becoming a huge fan of Peter Jennings during this harrowing time. I'm glad his demeanor and words were comforting to your son and helped him understand what was happening. Reporters like Mr. Jennings a few and far between, and I, for one, still miss him.
      Blessings to you!

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  11. I remember the day well. I live less than 25 miles from where the World Trade Center used to be. To this day, I still cannot write all that consumed my community, county and state. This is brilliant. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Linda!
      Oh, I can hardly imagine what heartache and terror your community faced on that day and the horrific memories that will never go away. It is certainly our generation's "day that will live in infamy".
      Thank you, too, for your kind words.
      Blessings to you!

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  12. Martha, do you remember the unity our nation experienced for a brief time after the attack? Do you recall how patriotism was at an all-time high, how all faiths came together and prayed? Did you notice the absence of political angst and rancor? For a brief moment in time, we were one nation under God, indivisible… what happened to us? Why did we go back to business as usual and forget what unity looked like? What will it take next to bring us to our knees again?

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Debra!
      Yes, that unity of spirit did not escape me for one moment. How I wish it could have remained longer than it did. Unfortunately, "business as usual" seems to be serving the interests of this world and not God's Kingdom. Satan has a stranglehold and he is a jealous task-master.
      I hope and pray for repentance and revival in this nation. And, to be again, one nation under God.
      Blessings, my friend!

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    2. So true Debra. How soon we forget. Now when things happen people look to divide and blame when we really need to come together. It makes my heart weep!

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  13. I would take these memories from us all if I could, but we are all marked permanently. Hearts scarred and gouged with a wound that is possibly not meant to ever completely heal. I shared my experience on my blog of that day, which you have visited and read. Prayer and focusing healing energy and love for those affected, for those taken, and for our country and planet....those were the things I could do on that day, and they are the things I continue to do each year.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, dear one. I lift you up in love and friendship. <3

    - Dawn

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Dawn!
      Yes, your blog post was such a moving one to read . . . and, perhaps, you are right about wounds not meant to ever completely heal. If they did, then we might forget what should never be forgotten.
      Praying with you!
      Blessings always, my friend!

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  14. I was in Albany, NY - about 75 miles from Ground Zero, then had to drive to D.C. two days later. It was surreal, eerie. More here - raw - straight from my journal:

    http://www.lifevesting.com/blog/2011/05/upwind-of-ground-zero/

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Andy!
      I will be sure to check out your post about 9/11. Can't believe how close you were to Ground Zero . . .
      Blessings to you!

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  15. I still remember that day. I could not believe it was happening, more like a movie. It was a moment that time stood still as you watched the images play again and again in front of you.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Rimly!
      Yes, it was as if time was standing still as the horror kept replaying before our eyes. May something like this never happen again!
      Blessings to you!

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  16. I was actually getting on a plane that morning. Of course, my plane never left ground in San Francisco. It's one day that is etched in our minds forever. I was in NY earlier this year and made a point to take a sneak peak of the memorial in progress. It was surreal, to be honest. Thoughtful post, Martha.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Brenda!
      Wow! Can't imagine how you must have felt when your flight was abruptly cancelled and then the news unfolds . . .
      I have not had the privilege of seeing the memorial. One day, hopefully, one day.
      Blessings to you!

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  17. Hi Martha:
    It was my last semester attending Southern CT State University. Classes had just started and I had a scheduling conflict. Was standing in line at the Registra's Office attempting to change one of my classes. Like you I heard a plane flew into the Trade Center. At first, like you, I thought a little two seater got off track. Then when reality set in and we all realized it was something far worse, my heart went into my throat.

    I recall school being closed and taking public transportation back to Union Station to head home. All the while, panicking, thinking Ah-oh what if the trains are targeted next. Very scary coming home to Madison.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Chris!
      Oh, your experience sounds so frightening, especially as you were so close to ground zero. Like you, I would have feared that the trains would be a target - fortunately, they weren't and you made it home safely.
      Thanks for sharing your story here.
      Blessings to you!

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  18. I was on my way to work and heard it on the radio. I taught at a law school. I went on to my office and sat there in shock. I canceled classes and went home to be with my children.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Galen!
      I don't blame you for cancelling classes and returning home to your children. All day long, that's all I wished I could do, but had to stick it out to the bitter end.
      Blessings to you!

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  19. I was oblivious to it, until my phone rang... a friend in shock calling me. I remember turning on the TV, watching in such disbelief... as the day progressed, I prayed hard that people made it down below, and that the emergency workers would rescue them. Blessings to you, Martha...

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Amy!
      Yes, many, many prayers went up that fateful day . . . I still can't see those images today and not get choked up.
      Blessings to you!

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  20. Ohhhh I have to admit I had avoided any blog posts about 911 until today... I lived in New Jersey at the time..my children were young and in school....we lost power including phone service...I remember the black haze up above and had no idea where it was coming from...it was hours later when the power returned when I learned what happened...I was relieved to see my children come home off the bus...that day my then husband was crossing the bridge from jersey to NY..he saw the 2nd plane hit....a few days later my then 9 year old had drawn a picture on my walls..with permanent marker...it was 2 tall buildings and a plane flying into it....this was a turning point in my faith in God...I still struggle with it....and I still cry for the innocent lives lost....As always..XOXOXOXO

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Bonnie!
      Oh, my dear, what an experience . . . and losing power and not knowing? That had to be so frightening! And, I'm sure your child was attempting to deal with trauma when he expressed his sadness in the drawing . . .
      When bad things happen to good people, even those with unshakable faith ask God "why". We have to trust that He is with us always, in the calm and in the storms.
      Blessings to you always!

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  21. Martha this was a day that touched us all in the states and beyond. I was in New York on my way to work in the midtown area and I never made it because the trains stopped working. It was a day of shock, sadness, mourning, fear and then anger.

    A friend of a mutual friend was in the Twin Towers and got out and she met up with us later that evening. She had to walk over 100 blocks to get to us. She was covered in that white soot and we all hugged her and cried, thankful that she made it out alive. When things like this and what is happening now in Libya and other parts of the Middle East happen all we can do is pray because pointing fingers and laying blame won't bring our loved ones back. When people who are disconnected from humanity and only stuck on certain doctrines and philosophies make plans to hurt other people it's hard to be able to stop all of them. Unfortunately there will be casualties. It breaks my heart because I don't understand. We may not agree on everything, but can we agree to listen, to love and not kill?

    ;-(

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  22. Oh, my, Tameka, you were right there! And, the story of your poor friend who I'll bet wonders to this day how and why she was spared when so many others perished on that fateful day.
    We are living in a sad and evil world, I'm afraid. When people get stuck, as you said, on doctrines, especially those which validate violence, innocent lives are considered expendable. It's all done in the name of something greater, but that something is definitely not our loving God.
    Thanks for stopping by!
    Blessings!

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  23. We were in our Liturgy class when I heard of the 911 attack. And it's just a few days before my birthday...everybody was crying...I couldn't figure how things like this could happen.
    Such violence...and hatred born of nothing...

    I came to understand about this a few years after I was assigned in North Africa. People could be brainwashed to do anything in ...'s name... and it's such a misconstrued idea... a fake idealism bearing God's name...

    I pray with you continuously for the healing of people's mind and heart... that violence may be returned with goodness... and curses with blessings... God heal this broken land.



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