Ten years ago, all during the morning and afternoon of September 11, I watched in horrified fascination. Much of our nation was paralyzed by the acts of evil men whose purpose was to destroy the heart of our nation. These villians attacked the centers of our finances, our military, and attempted to destroy the pulse of our government. My son had called to tell my husband who worked at Kennedy Space Center for NASA to come home. Because Frank was unable to walk, he felt that his father was especially vulnerable staying in a government building that symbolized the center of our technical achievements.
Men and women jumped from burning buildings as firefighters rushed into the flaming structures. Others stormed the aisles of Flight 93. The mission of these heros was to retake the plane but the plane crashed on a field in Pennsylvania.
Through it all, I sat up straight in my seat, not daring to lean back on the cushions. I stood, holding the TV remote control unable to venture away from the blinking screen. I paced the floor of our family room and kitchen as the hours dragged painful away. In the face of this horror, I did not shed one tear.
But today has been different. I’ve only watched snatches of the rebroadcasting of the events I viewed ten years ago. Yet, each time I saw sights and sounds from 10 years ago, I cried.
My thoughts and feelings mixed with pathos, concern and gratitude. Each image evoked a tearful response.
One of the reporters said remembering the day, “I prayed that I wouldn’t break down and cry while I was on the air. I knew that I had to remain strong so that I could clearly report what was happening. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”
Even though the members of Special Gathering are mentally challenged, they are extremely aware of current events. This morning during our chapel worship, I led our members at Special Gathering in a service of remembering. I believe God gave us an inspired prayer. “Lord, bless this holy day. This day, September 11, became a holy day for our nation because on this day as a nation with one voice and one heart, we turned to You for help, assurance and blessing.”
Of course, as it often happens, daily life soon turned our hearts back to the greed of consuming our days and weeks with work, pleasure or mindless entertainment. Today, I, also, wept for your nation. May God have mercy on this shining, golden city built on a hill of hope, faith and grace.