Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

It's impossible not to think about the events that took place 13 years ago today. I'm pretty sure every American steels themselves for another year of remembrance as the date September 11 approaches. It is still really unbelievable that such a horrific surprise attack happened after the turn of a new millennium.

On one of the websites I write for, one of the questions in the forum was "Where were you?" The question needed no further clarification. What sort of surprised me as I read through everyone's answers was the young age many of the writers were when it happened. A majority of them were in middle school and high school and a few were even in their elementary years.

I was older then them - 27 to be exact. I was working for the North Carolina Automobile Dealer's Association. I was taking a morning break checking e-mail when I noticed a message from my mom telling me to pray because a plane had gone down.

Not long after that, I received another e-mail telling me another plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I relayed the message to my co-workers and we were soon receiving news reports of what was happening. I remembered thinking to myself, "Raleigh is not all that far away from New York City."

All of us gathered in the conference room and turned on the television. Like all of the other millions of Americans watching, we couldn't believe our eyes and could only stare at the screen in stunned silence. After what seemed like hours, we finally turned off the TV set. The thought struck me that we needed to pray. We gathered together in a circle, held hands and prayed for our country and its leaders. For several days after 9/11, many churches throughout the country opened its doors for special times of prayer.
A Wendy's sign in Kentucky features a sign saying "Pray for America"
The tragedy affected my sister's wedding plans. She was getting married two weeks later back home in North Dakota. We decided instead of flying back home, we would drive instead. As we traveled the 1,800 miles we saw thousands of flags displayed in car windows with the red, white and blue flapping wildly but proudly. Many businesses had "God Bless America" and "Pray for America" displayed on their marquees.

Sadly, since the attack on U.S. soil, I'm not sure if Americans understand the magnitude of what happened that fateful day. While Congress seemed to unite for a little while after the terrorist attack, it certainly didn't last very long. Americans quickly stopped praying for their country and we are now more divisive than ever. I can only hope that as new terror groups threaten our country, we will get back on our knees and pray for God's mercy.

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