A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


September 11, 2012

My Perspective: Looking Back on September 11, 2001

     As I listen to a radio broadcast of the sounds of THAT DAY, it takes me back to all the things I felt that morning.  My husband and I were starting a new phase of our life; we were putting our complete trust in the Lord as we started our new business and moved out of a major city to a small piece of land in the country.  We no longer had the security of twice-a-month paychecks, and had taken that leap of faith of relying on God for our provision.
     We had just made a sizable purchase at Lowe's to help us remodel a fixer-upper farmhouse, and were excited about the possibilities of a bright new future.  As we got into our pickup truck and turned on the radio, it was about 8:20 CST.  We heard the announcer say something like, "We don't know what's going on, but it has been reported that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center."  PLW and I looked at each other, and instantly knew that something was very wrong.  Then just a few minutes later, that same announcer said, "We -- we are hearing -- right now that another explosion that -- has taken place. At the Pentagon."


     We immediately knew ---- our nation was under attack.  And the re-broadcast of that morning, now eleven years later, elicits the same intensity of both fear and resolve.  I hear the sounds of the police sirens and the horns of the fire trucks.  I hear the voices of the witnesses and the survivors as they describe the smell of jet fuel; the intense heat inside the building; the impenetrable dust that made it nearly impossible to breath; the shouts for help; the falling debris; and most horrific of all, the sight of human beings who felt they had no other choice but to jump to their death.
     The radio broadcast this morning replays the phone messages left for families as their loved ones inside those burning Towers knew they would never get out alive.  I hear survivors in the Pentagon recount what it was like to be buried under the rubble and see their fellow workers dead and injured. I hear the stories of the brave heroes on Flight 93; people like you and me, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  I  hear a moment in history that will forever define my life and the narrative of this country.
     And I remember realizing that from this moment on, my future lay in the hands of God.  All of this was out of my control and I knew my life and my country would never be the same again.  I remember what it was like when we had to decide whether to make that cross-country trip for our new business, just three days after 9-11.  We discussed it with our business associate and made the decision to proceed with our trip; we weren't going to let the terrorists win.
     I remember making our way to a 300 year-old church in Santa Fe on that Friday, a day of National Prayer.  People from all faiths and ethnic groups came together to give thanks to God and ask for strength and understanding.  We resolved to be one Nation under God, and to come together in our sorrow, our pain, and our resilience.  In the midst of our national suffering, we forgot our differences and were proud of who we were ..... Americans.  It felt like a new beginning; as if a new Spirit had come to our land.
     So where are we today, September 11, 2012?  What happened to us?  I can honestly say that we are not where I thought we would be.  I feel we are more divided and more spiritually empty than we were the day before those terrible attacks.  I expected so much more.  I expected that we would bond together and renew our commitment to the principles of America.  We seemed to know who we were that day .... the heirs of a legacy.  We weren't a people who easily admitted defeat in spite of difficulties or opposition.  We got knocked down and came back stronger.
     I thought we would once again embrace the "Goodness of America" that everyone so confidently and ebulliently proclaimed in those following days.  I thought we would return to a kinder, more empathetic, and charitable nation.  The things that made us self-absorbed would evaporate as we once again became the UNITED States of America.
     After all, we turned to God as our source of strength, and as our Unifier, in the aftermath of that terrible tragedy.  Now He has become an idea that is divisive in our national conversation.  And that conversation has become a barely disguised contempt for each other.
     What I see is a rising conflict.  There are those who want us to return to our roots; to the solidarity we welcomed that day.   Then there are those who would denounce that notion of America, and would take us in a direction that my grandparents, just 50 years ago, would not recognize.   There are Americans that still mourn for the loss of that day; and those who say we deserved it.
     It saddens me to realize that my sorrow for what this day represents has compounded.  I mourn the loss of so much on that beautiful Fall day.  We lost the precious lives of nearly 3,000 innocent moms, dads, children, sisters, brothers, wives and husbands.  We lost our invincibility that day.  Since then, we've lost our united identity, and a shared faith in our leaders and our God.   It's eleven years later, and we need healing now, more than ever.

UPDATE:  As I read our President's proclamation this morning, I am disappointed.  There is no mention of God or prayer, which have always sustained this country in times of sorrow and national tragedy.  Instead, apparently what we need to focus on is "community service." It is just one more indication of the slide toward Godlessness that will be our ruin.  God save us from such irreverence!

Matthew 13:15     "For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them."

2 comments:

  1. Hello Belle,

    I also can remember where I was and what I was doing that terrible day. I was caring for a friend's granddaughter for the day so she could go and take care of some business. I remember listening to the radio and doing some paperwork as my friend's granddaughter played in my office and this broadcast came on and they were talking about a plane crashing into the towers. I left that room while she was playing and I immediately got on the TV and saw what was happening and saw the second plane crash as it was happening. I was horrified and I called my husband immediately to let him know what was happening in case he didn't. He and our employees were at a school within our state installing some equipment and they were able to watch a TV in the office as everything was happening as well. They packed up and came home as soon as they could leave. My friend came zipping into our drive and arrived at the door with tears in her eyes and scared to death. Her little granddaughter saw this and told her that everything was going to be okay! She didn't know what to do and couldn't reach her husband. I told her it would probably be best that she head home and take her granddaughter and to watch carefully and to wait for her husband to either call her or to come home or she could stay with me, or I would drive behind her home and make sure she got there and was okay. I felt helpless as I saw the horrific scenes take place. My heart is still sadden to this day to think of it and what saddens me even more is how quickly people forget. I think of those families who lost someone that they loved and all those who were brave and helped and many who lost their lives in doing so. Today as I drove to the grocery store, the song called God Bless The USA, I love this land, etc., and as they sang about those who were brave and how they'd stand up and at least we know we're free. I thought to myself, I'd stand up beside those and fight for the freedoms we still have and thank those who do fight for them now and in the past. I'm tremendously thankful for their sacrifices and I haven't forgotten! But, are we free? Are we continually letting those freedoms be taken by those who wish to "rule" us? That's not what this country is about and was never meant to be! We are not that kind of people! What has happened to us?! There's an anger stirring out there and it's going to go to a boiling point soon. God is angry and so am I with Him! When we allow prayer and thankfulness to leave us and we delete God from our lives and we allow others to take it from us, so will much of what we've all have enjoyed and what was good will diminish as well. It's just a matter of time. Those choices are still ours. I'd like to believe and hope that there are those like myself out there and in great numbers that still care and do BELIEVE in GOD, TRUTH, and LIBERTY. I hope we can turn things around for OUR country soon. It's going to take some serious work, effort and commitment. Do Americans still have that in them???? Home of the free and brave? People who can think for themselves, do for themselves and be strong individuals?

    Blessings my friend,
    Lisa

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  2. Lisa, I believe God was at the center of the founding of this country, and as long as there are a remnant of us who still worship Him and the principles that He endowed us with, He will not forsake us! Does that mean the United States avoids struggles and suffering, and retains our standing in the world? No!!! Just as He disciplined His chosen people and the nation of Israel throughout the centuries due to their disobedience, so will He let us be pruned and purified because of our abandonment of His holy ways. Do I think there are Americans that get this? Yes, I do! But Evil is also on the rise, and we don't know what time it is on God's clock. We may be near the midnight hour and God's Judgment is due. So I still faith..... faith in my fellow Americans and faith in my God. No matter what comes, I know this .... God is in control and His will WILL BE DONE! Amen!

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