My remembrance of the day that shook our nation pales to what so many are experiencing on this 7th anniversary of 9/11.
I was in a local service station pumping gas when the owner, a dear family friend, came out to the pump and said, “Lisa, get in here. You have to see what is happening.”
At that point, only the first tower had been hit. I thought it was an accident. A horrific event, but unintentional. A plane malfunction that had the misfortune of taking place over a large city.
As we watched the smoke in horror, the newscaster went berserk informing us that the second tower had just been hit by another plane. Y’all, I still didn’t get it. Until the newscaster used the word terrorism, the thought never even crossed my mind that people in the world existed to do us harm and that our government had not been able to protect us from it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not government bashing. I’m simply saying we are equipped with the finest military in the world, we have capabilities of launching a nuclear attack that could disintegrate entire cities, but we couldn’t see these few cowards coming.
I hugged our friend, got in the car, and cried my eyes out.
I went on to Chattanooga because I was already on my way to Sam’s. Sam’s is next to an airport and I don’t think I fully realized the national effect this event would have until plane after plane after plane was grounded. The sound of the engines roaring rocked the ground and the sheer number of the huge jets making emergency landings felt apocalyptic. That’s when I truly got scared. My dad was in Chicago so I was afraid for him and yet had no way to reach him. And I’ll never, ever forget the scene of that parking lot full of people at a total stand still looking up at the sky with hearts and faces numb as to what was taking place.
I cried all the way through Sam’s. I might have felt foolish had I been the only one.
I don’t know if anyone from New York, or Washington DC, or Pennsylvania reads this blog. I don’t know how many of you have been directly affected by the tragedy that day. If you are out there, please know I still grieve for you. I ask God to give you comfort only He can. I continue to pray He has brought a measure of beauty from ashes.
I remember you.