Wow, 9 years. It seems like a lifetime ago. It seems like just yesterday.
Today, I'm particularly thinking of those babies born to 9/11 victims and heroes. Babies that died never knowing their daddies. I saw a Primetime special on them when they were about a year old. I can't help thinking that those babies are now 8 or almost 9 years old. Their mommies have been raising their babies without their spouses/significant others for all those years. (I'm sure many of them have remarried, etc., but it's still just unbelievable to think about.) I pray for them.
I think about how our country has changed - 2 wars, new security checks at every airport, etc. I don't remember much about how travel was in a pre-September 11th environment.
I think about the heroes that died that day - from Flight 93 to the firefighters and policemen to the priest ministering to the hurting after the first tower collapsed.
I think about the many families who have lost soldiers in the fight against Osama Bin Laden and others like him since that time.
I think of the many feelings that came with that day that seemed to spread nationwide - feelings of fear, uncertainty, grief, but also of unity and pride.
I think of the kindergarten students I was teaching as the towers fell; they are now in high school. Just a few short weeks later, one of the fathers of one of the students went to Ground Zero to help (he was a firefighter). Upon returning, he told us a lot, but said it was really indescribable.
I remember the prayer meeting that night when my church got together to pray for our nation; things were a mess and confusing, but we knew 2 things - we wanted to be together and we needed to be praying.
I remember my brother was in India during the attack. I remember feeling grateful that he had left September 4th and not September 11th. Sometimes, one week makes all the difference.
Because things really do change that quickly - one week, one day, one hour, one second, and life as we know it can change.
I pray today for all those who are grieving on a personal level and for our nation as we grieve on a national level. To those who lost their lives, you are gone, but not forgotten.
God bless America.