Remembering September 11th - Beauty for Ashes!

September 10, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

September 11, 2001

World Trade Towers 1999
How does a single day manage to feel like it was both yesterday and yet a lifetime ago?  It always seems to sneak up on me.  And yet, the moment I wake up, I immediately realize what today is.  Images, video clips, and voices permeate every media and every place.  I remember.

It has been 12 years, and when I think back, I can still feel the fear, the overwhelming sadness and shock as if it were happening all over again.  But that is what the terrorists wanted.  They wanted to cripple us with fear and destroy us.  So instead, I choose to remember the LOVE & STRENGTH.

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.  These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." -- President George W. Bush, 9/11/01 at 8:30pm

New World Trade Towers 2013
I remember hugging my friends, my family, complete strangers.  I remember spending the evening and the next day surrounded by hundreds of other students of a variety of ethnic, political, and religious backgrounds all standing together praying, holding hands, hugging, waving our American flags, and singing "God Bless America, Land That I Love!"  I remember knowing with certainty that while the world thinks we can be a spoiled and apathetic people, we are not.  We may settle into our comfort zones like everyone else and bicker about the small things, but we are strong, unified in our love of our freedoms and our nation, and we are even a bit ornery!!!  Really, we're kind of like a giant family.  We may argue, protest, rant, and call each other names, but the moment anyone else lays a finger on our crazy Uncle Eddie, it's on.  Ok, so maybe that's more like a big Southern Family - haha!!

Anyway, the point is that I am so thankful and proud to be an American!!!  I'm thankful for the wonderful people around the world who have supported us.  I am thankful for the men and women who have risked or given their lives for us . . . the rescue workers, firefighters, EMTs, police, military, volunteers, the brave people who willingly crashed their own plane into an empty field giving up their own lives to save others . . . you will all never be forgotten.  And as for the rest of us . . . we learn, we grow, we rebuild our lives and make sure to teach the lessons we learned of love, unity, and strength to future generations.

On a side note, I was in NYC two times in 2001.  I went three months before and three months after September 11th.  That year was the last time I did several things in NYC.  I guess the memories of smoke rising up from the ashes really affected me.  I couldn't even bring myself to go down there for the 10th anniversary of the attacks (I was in the city that week).  The last time I went down there, a huge metal cross and an American Flag stood over the dirt and ruins.  However, a few weeks ago, I decided this was the year.  I am so glad I went!!!  The 9/11 Memorial is a beautiful and tranquil place to reflect and honor those who lost their lives that day.  The new World Trade Center buildings are gorgeous and stand tall, reminding us that we are strong and courageous, and something beautiful can be created from the ashes of tragedy.  

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me . . . He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives . . . to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning . . ." -- Isaiah 61:1-3



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