That’s how much time has passed since the worst terror attack this country has ever known. Those of us who are old enough to remember that day know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first found out about the attacks on the World Trade Center towers.
I was working in an insurance office, and the first we were made aware of the attack was when the son of the owner called to say a plane had hit one of the twin towers. At the time no one knew if it was just an accident or something worse.
Then the second plane hit the other tower, and there was no longer any doubt in our minds. This was intentional. This was war.
We didn’t have a television in the office, but quickly turned up the volume on the radio and listened intently to reports as they came in. Everyone looked at each other in shock—not believing what we were hearing. It was like a nightmare. I suddenly understood the trepidation in my parents’ voices when they recalled where they were the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Soon was the news that the Pentagon had also been hit by a plane and was on fire. I think that’s when it became very real for me. This was a planned attack on our country by people who were evil. It wasn’t just a random event—they’d been orchestrating this attack for years, meticulously planning each and every moment of it.
I’m more thankful than I can say for the passengers of the United Airlines flight who chose to fight back that day, rather than allow a fourth plane to hit the White House. How brave they were. I think I mourn their losses even more than the others as they chose to die for their country.
I wasn’t going to write anything about 9/11—even though it’s an important anniversary of that tragic day. Then I thought about the fact that today’s teenagers have no idea what it felt like to live through that day and the days following. All air flights were cancelled, people were sent home from work, we all went to churches and prayed for the lost and for our country. There was fear in the land, and our innocence was lost. We weren’t as safe as we’d thought we were. In the ensuing months, we feared even to open our mail as anthrax was sent through the postal service to several agencies. It felt as if our world had changed forever.
And it had.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in fear, but I also think it’s important that we learn from what happened on 9/11 and never forget how precious the freedoms are that we enjoy in this country. And we need to make certain that our children and our grandchildren are taught the truth about that day. We WERE attacked by evil. And it COULD happen again.
Hopefully, we’ve learned this most important thing—take nothing for granted. It can be lost so quickly.
And remember, as Christians, our true freedom can NEVER be taken away from us.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)