Where were you on that fateful September 11th when the TV screens filled with pictures of smoke billowing out of a tall tower? When the TV screen showed another plane crashing into the tower and you thought it was a replay of the first video? Where were you when the skies were QUIET all across the country? And what did you do?
Matt and I were working 2nd shift back in 2001. I was working customer service at RAPID- Hawker's customer support/ spares division. So we were laying in bed, just waking up, when his dad called and told us to turn on the TV. We turned it on. And sat there for hours, watching it in absolute shock. Calling my mom to see if she had heard, and watching some more. We watched the live footage as the second plane crashed into the tower. We heard the reports of a plane crashing into the pentagon. We watched live on TV as the first tower fell. It was all so surreal. And you know, watching it on TV didn't even begin to touch the magnitude of what people were experiencing right there in the midst.
We both went to work that evening. They'd grounded all airplanes across the country. Froze the nation, just like they wanted to. Matt's job is to get planes flying, so they were a little limited that night on what they could accomplish. My job was to get parts to customers. I remember saying multiple times "well you better ship that UPS Ground because Fed Ex is not even flying right now." I'd have a customer say "I have an AOG airplane" -which means airplane on ground /can't fly/broken-- to which I'd say "every plane in the country is AOG right now. The only way we can get a part to you is to drive it there- on a UPS truck!"
The phones were quiet that night at work for the most part, and we watched the news clips online, looked at pictures, just couldn't believe it. I remember thinking we needed to get a flag for our house. I called around and found that Dillards had two Tommy-Hilfiger flags left. I told the lady to hold them for me, and I went and got them on my lunch break. One for us and one for our inlaws. And like the rest of America, we put that flag out and lifted our heads and would not let them defeat us.
Now we are still fighting wars that are part of the aftermath of that September 11th. My brother has fought the war. My cousin's husband has fought the war. My cousin right now is deep in Afghanistan as a green beret for the army, fighting the fight. Will the job they are doing keep something like 9/11 from happening again? I don't know.
But I do know this. I know that the troops deserve our support regardless of the mission. They are doing the job they are told to do. Love the worker, hate the job if you must. And I know something else too. We serve a mighty and faithful God, and whatever is in store for us in the future, He is there, He knows it, and because I know that, I do not have to be afraid. Because this place, this place with terrorism, and war, and hate.... it is not my eternity.
I will know this, and I will not forget.
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