"Grieving must be done in its own time. To deny the human reality that pain hurts only delays the process." -- John-Roger, from QuotesBlogI had just arrived to work and was checking in with my manager when I noticed that she was watching the news on the small TV she'd been keeping in her office. The first plane had crashed into the tower. We saw the second plane crash. Later we heard about the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. It was hard to believe that this was really happening.
Work basically ceased for everyone as we were all glued to the TV, which eventually made its way into a conference room. I left work early that afternoon to go home to my wife. On the way I stopped at the United Dairy Farmers to get a special edition of the newspaper.
I watched the President George W. Bush, in a televised address from the Oval Office at 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time on September 11, 2001, in which he said:
"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."For the next several days, the IT folks at work had live streaming footage from CNN. I rejoiced with those who'd survived and mourned with those who'd mourned.
Last year, I had a few pages of paper with many of the names of the victims. Other men in our church had the rest of the pages. I went to the Vietnam Veterans Park in Dayton, across from the Dayton Job Center, and prayed for these victims and their families. As I prayed for an individual, I tore off the name and threw it into the Great Miami River.
The events of that day have become a defining moment for our lives in the same way that Pearl Harbor, the assassinations of JFK and others, the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles, have. I am so grateful to God for the many ways he has shown his compassion through these tough times, and I pray for those affected.
On the evening of September 11, 2002, I wrote the following 100 words:
One year ago today some people sought to shake the foundations upon which we live. They went after those areas of our lives that make us who we are. Families, friends, and communities were attacked.The events of two years ago also transformed our perspective on life and generated a renewed sense of patriotism. The following words from the movie Braveheart come to mind (emphasis added):
Yet one year later the principles which have led to this country’s success still stand, and because we are a country built on principles, we still stand as well. Terrorists may cause pain, but they cannot take away the foundation that makes us who we are, that which will always prevail: faith hope, love. And surely we know that the greatest of these is love.
William Wallace: What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?
Soldier: Against that? No, we will run, and we will live.
William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, wouldn't you be willing to trade all that from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom?
May God Bless the United States of America.