Today is September 11, 2011. Ten years ago, we experienced one of the defining moments of my generation. Nothing else has so dramatically changed the world that once was into what the world has become. From the way we view the Middle East to the way we travel has shifted.
That Tuesday, so long ago, is a blur for me. I remember being in my Bible teachers room when I heard the news. The class sat shocked for a second. My Bible teacher, Chad Barrett, prayed fervently, yet calmly, for the people in New York. We continued with our scheduled day at Hamilton Christian Academy, but nobody felt much like doing any assignments. We didn't have TVs in the classrooms so information was scarce and a long time in coming. I remember some of the students wanted to call home. Rumors were moving through the student body, saying that Lake Charles was a target or something because of the oil refineries. Fortunately, nothing became of that, but already you could see signs of the changes and (in some cases) fear that some people had.
I remember getting in the truck with Mom and Jared to go home that day. Mom had the radio on listening to the news reports. I don't think any of us had actually seen any images from New York yet, but it was all we saw on TV that night.
Seeing the initial videos, pictures, dust, fire, blood and death was shocking. I remember President Bush giving his speech to the nation:
"Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under
attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts."
By this time, the death and destruction had pushed all the tears out of me. I was just numb.
I don't remember much about the following weeks. I know that HCA had an assembly, and that I got the chance to read a poem that I had written. I remember having to read it twice for some reason and got a lot of claps afterward.
A few years later, I got the chance to go to Ground Zero while on a mission trip to New York City with the LSU Baptist Collegiate Ministry. I had never been to NYC before then, but remember standing there looking at the memorial site, thinking that it was like there was a hole there. Like something was missing. At that point there was still a section of cross beam in the shape of a cross that was like the centerpiece of the memorial.
Ten years later, the images and videos still push me to tears.
I think that they always will.
9/11/01 - Never forget.
"I can hear you! I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"
-President George W. Bush