Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Will Always Remember and Pray: 9/11/01

Year after year, on this day, news reports resurface and re-creations fill the television screen. Year after year, on this day, my chest constricts and my eyes water. No, I didn't lose anyone I loved or knew nor did anyone I know lose someone they loved or knew. Even so, the reminder of the terror of that day is enough to cause me to cry. I also cry for those who did lose someone they loved or knew, those who worked in the building, those who put their lives at risk for others, or those who survived. The terror of that day is constantly replayed throughout the country without regard for the sensitivities of these mourning and suffering people. Re-creating the terror will only serve to gouge out the semi-healed hole in their lives. Yet, even knowing this, I can't seem to ignore the coverage any more than I could that fateful day. 

When I remember that day, I am also reminded of my late-fiancĂ© because he sat beside me as we watched the television coverage in horror. He died less than a year later. As a grievance gift, my uncle later gave me the book, Let's Roll. We were high-school sweethearts who had just realized the dream of attending college together as biology majors. That fateful morning we were sitting at our usual table in the upper-classmen cafeteria eating breakfast before our early morning physic class. Our table faced a small television mounted high up on the wall. For whatever reason, our television was already on a news channel, so we got the first round of coverage. As we all sat there in silent disbelief (yes a room full of college students can silent), the horror continued to unfold. If I recall correctly, we watched the second plane hit. The silence was broken soon by cries of disbelief, anxiety, and terror as some of our far-flung schoolmates wracked their brains for the location of loved ones and even acquaintances. Later, the shock continued as we learned of the almost simultaneous attack on the Pentagon and the aborted attack on DC (the theme of the book mentioned previously).

Slowly, we gathered our things and tore our gaze from the news to walk to our class. I think everyone that saw coverage was late for class that day--even the professors. One of our professors came from NY and we were all concerned for him and his family (they weren't in NYC, but at that time no one knew what was going on)--especially since he immediately started the journey from KY to NY upon hearing the news. Classes that day were incredibly subdued and many were cancelled. Although our school was in the wilds of KY, at the time, it was unknown whether there were other targets throughout the country, so classes were cancelled and those capable were sent home for an indefinite time period. I don't think I've ever seen a college campus so quiet nor so unified. Sadly, the unity did not necessarily extend to our foreign schoolmates once news got out that this terror attack was foreign-based. Some were hidden at undisclosed locations for their safety. Yet, even so, churches were filled to the brim as we prayed for the repose of souls, healing for the injured, comfort for the mourning, and strength for the rescuers. 

Today, my prayers, again, are for the repose of souls, healing for the injured, comfort for the mourning, and strength for the rescuers. I pray that the continued coverage does not cause further harm to those who are healing. As I watch television coverage of that day now, I pray with even greater fervency for those who today must suffer terribly with suvivors guilt, PTSD, and grief. The brave and resourceful individuals that were able to create safety, 

order, and healing amid the shock, chaos, and injury of that day also in my prayers. Continued prayers are also necessary for the protection of other innocents in harms way of terror attacks such as this. Even those responsible need our prayers because such horrific actions can't have been actions of those with sane or kindly regard for human life. Human life is so sacred and all too often too brief. Regardless of appearances every life deserves a chance to live fully. Although it is hard to imagine, especially in the face of so much suffering, God has a plan for each and every life He creates. We should all strive to give God's creation the benefit of the doubt and err on the side of caution when the question of life or death arises. God bless America! 

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