Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

UPDATE: It seems that I had a few minor errors in my recollection of my dad and his day. If you would like to read his account of that day go to Father and Son Workshop.

I've heard people that lived through Kennedy's Assasination and Pearl Harbor say that they will always remember where they were and what they were doing that day. While I wasn't born yet when these things happened, I will always remember September 11, 2001.

I remember that I woke up that morning feeling like nothing in the world could harm me or the ones that I loved. That idealistic view would take a drastic turn shortly after I arrived to work that day. I was working at Knoxville Pediatric Associates. We had started a busy day since the children had gone back to school and sickness was on the rise again. Around 9am Dr. Roberts, who was off that day, called the office to tell us to turn on the radios and T.V. because a plane had just crashed into one of the World Trade Center Towers. As more attacks happened, I remember the building fear within me. We just didn't know what was going to happen next. How much more was to come? Would there be an attack in our city? As I checked patients in and we spoke of what was happening with sadness on our hearts, I also remember the rumors that were going around. There was talk of other attacks that I would later find out did not happen. Someone said that people thought that the nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, not far from where we lived might also be a target. At the time, the rumors and speculation added to the fear.

When I found out that most of the planes used in the attacks had flown out of Boston, I was panicked because my father had been working out of Boston a lot during that time. I knew that he was traveling that day. After I called my mother, I found out that he was actually flying out of Chicago. This made me feel a little better but I knew that he was still in the air and was still very concerned. A little while later, my mom heard from my dad whose plane had been grounded. He was going to rent a car and drive home to Nashville.

I went home that evening and watched the families of those who had been lost being interviewed on T.V. I cried right along with them. My heart broke for those who were still looking for their loved ones, desperately showing pictures of those they could not find to anyone who would listen.

Although, it was probably one of the saddest days I have ever known, incredible good came out of it. I have never seen such unity in our country as I saw post 9-11. I remember the courage of the people who attempted to change the fate of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I remember the pride I felt for the Firemen who risked so much to save the people, some at the ultimate price. There were so many that went out of their way to help neighbors who were hurting. We also had a special candlelight prayer service. It was solemn but special...special because even though the world seemed to be crashing down around us with the towers, we could still hold onto Jesus.

Our own good came out of 9-11 nine months later. After trying for over a year, we became pregnant with our first child. Emma made her arrival into our lives on June 6, 2002. (Go ahead, do the math) Hey, What can I say?! When you're not really sure if you're gonna live to see tomarrow there are just some things you want to do before you die. :) I was married....marital privelages. :) Although, the experts say there was no 9-11 baby boom, we had a baby boom of our own.

September 11th caused us to look at our lives and see what was really important. It made us want to be nearer to those we love. It gave us "joys in proportion to our sorrows," to steal a quote from another blog I read recently...

"The Man of Sorrows is the fountain of all joy to others, and is the possessor of all the joys of heaven and earth, by virtue of his triumphs. He has experienced joys in proportion to his sorrows; as He once waded through deep waters of grief He has now climbed to the highest mountains of happiness. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross despising the shame, and now having sat down at his Father's right hand he enjoys pleasures for evermore." -- Charles Spurgeon, in his message "The Gladness of the Man of Sorrows", delivered on Sunday morning March 8, 1863, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London

So, that's my September 11th story. What's yours? In the words of Alan Jackson, "Where were you when the world stopped turning?" Leave me a comment and let me know.

I hope that you can all find a moment to remember what happened seven years ago today. Remember all the people who lost their lives. Say a prayer for the families. This is no doubt an especially hard day for them.


Adam Wallace said...

My dad and were going on an outing with the seniors of the church and when we got. My mom wasn't feeling well so she didn't go.

As soon as we got to the church the church the church Secretary was watching it on TV. She said that my mom had called her to tell her.

WJS said...

I will never forget that day. I was sitting in x-ray. We all had to go into another room with a t.v. to see what was going on. It was a very somber day.

Wendie Beddingfield said...

I remember I was at my mother's house watching Kate (4) and Jacob (1). I can't for the life of me remember why I was there so early in the day--the rest is a blur in my memory.

david & andrea said...

I was still living on the Doulos (ship) and we had just arrived in Manila, the Philippines from Korea that day. Local missionaries came on board and shared the news, and all Americans were paged to meet in the main lounge. They only had a picture in a newspaper of the twin towers after they were hit. No one was allowed to leave the ship for 24 hours because we didn't know if Americans everywhere would be a target. The ships leaders somehow managed to get us wired for CNN, so most of us sat in the dining room around one or two t.v.s and watched what was going on at home. The dad of one of the Americans on board worked at the Pentagon, so it was especially tense until we heard that he was okay... it was such an atmosphere of mourning and disbelief for everyone, even the non-Americans.