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Friday, September 11, 2009

Thinking about September 11th...

It's hard to imagine that it's been 8 years since September 11th. I remember exactly where I was when I first heard the news of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center building, as many who are older than me remember where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

I was driving in my truck (1988 GMC Sierra short bed that I would love to have back) east on Interstate 80 in western Pennsylvania on my way to a meeting with some youth pastor friends about our upcoming Fall Retreat. We were meeting in Punxsutawney (the home of all the groundhog craziness around February 2nd).

The four of us went next door to a hotel where they allowed us to watch the coverage in their lobby.

We stood, sat and prayed in disbelief... for what seemed like an eternity. We watched the towers fall. We listened to the coverage of Flight 93 that crashed just a hundreds miles south of where we sat.

We decided to reschedule our meeting as reports began to trickle into our cell phones of schools letting out early for the day. Realizing that we would have upset students, we headed for home.

There were a couple of things about that day that I will never forget:
  • the thought of complete disbelief... it was overwhelming.
  • the clearness of the blue sky that day.
  • the absence of planes in the sky on the drive home.
  • how great it was to talk to family and friends and find out that folks were alright... realizing that many would find out that day that "someone" was not alright...
  • the shock on the faces of folks back home.
  • watching the news coverage for hours as brave rescuers tried to save anyone they could.
  • being unable to stop watching the news reports.
  • watching the coverage of those planes flying into those buildings... those images still give me chills.
But today... looking back, I'm thankful for those brave men and women who rushed into those doomed buildings to help people and lost their lives in the process. I'm thankful for those who worked around the clock for weeks to try to give closure to those who's loved ones lost their lives. I'm thankful for our brave men and women (some from our youth ministry) who have served and are serving in the armed forces, protecting our freedoms. Today I remember them.

But more than anything, I'm thankful for my faith in a God who is righteous and just and will, in the end, set everything right.

Jim

Where were you? What do you remember?

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