Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where Were You?

Today marks twelve years since the day we will never forget. Many Facebook posts today center around noting 'where we were' and the commitment to 'never forget.' I find it interesting how the details of when I heard are still so vivid. After reading my friend Andrea's post, I think we need a follow up to the 'where were you?' and ask, 'how did it effect you?'

This was Andrea's Facebook post that got me thinking:
I do remember this day, 12 years ago. Heather was my very groovy roommate. She had just stepped out of my car to go to class at ISU after we enjoyed a morning drive. I flipped on the radio as I turned the corner to head toward work. The words sank in as all other sounds and sights melted away. At work, every available TV was tuned to see the news of unfolding events. After a while, I decided that I was going to keep at the stuff of life, and for the day, that meant working, and most definitely praying, so I walked the quiet hallway to the lab. Ho-Ming strode in not long after to tell us the second tower had fallen, and I think we all looked at our work and wondered what it was worth. I decided it was worth doing. We would keep learning, creating, and living. I prayed for the victims, and for the perpetrators. For every family. For justice, for mercy, and for resolve. The lines for gas were long on the drive home, and I shook my head. I thought, if things turned bad, as long as the company stayed open, I would be working. I would also be contacting my brothers and my parents as soon as possible.

I find it interesting how the details of when I heard are still so vivid. I remember what the "early" morning September light was like, as I drove down Beach Ave. to park at the stadium. I remember tuning into 102.5 on that stretch of road. I remember pulling up to the 4-way stop of Beach & 4th St. and hearing the commanding sergeant of Camp Dodge say, "Oh my God," in a breathless, horrified whisper...and then, silence.

...and then, I pulled into the parking lot, so that I could board Cy-Ride to my Tuesday-Thursday classes, and thought, bewildered, "What is going on?" The radio dee-jays hadn't explained in the brief 2 minutes I'd been listening that the North & South Towers had been hit by planes that had been commandeered by terrorists. I knew that the South Tower had fallen, which caused the commander to utter that horrified whisper - a whisper I can still hear.

I rode Cy-Ride in a bewildered state. I walked into my classroom in Curtiss Hall desperate to know something. Only a few of my classmates mentioned it; my professor said nothing. We just had class like any normal Tuesday.

Immediately following that class was Ballroom Dancing. More was known by now - and I was filled in on some details. I don't really remember how I felt. I remember that we still danced.

Then, I went to the Memorial Union, where news coverage was being played in the Great Ballroom. I watched for a while; I took it in, in a sort of daze - what did all of this mean? ...and then, I realized that my mom was in Washington, D.C. So, I took the bus, and called home. My dad assured me that my mom was safe.

When I think back to this day, I feel like there is a swirling mist that surrounds the day. This fog of mystery and chaos enveloped us - despite the clear, bright, September day. I don't remember what I felt, but I remember feeling the need to be near God. So, I sat down at my desk and for 2-3 hours worked on a Bible study, entitled 'Becoming a Woman of Purpose.' ...and I remember in the midst of the chaos, confusion, and mystery, a sense of profound peace.

Reading Andrea's post and her response to hearing the news gives one the perfect glimpse of her. She embodies Paul's admonition to the Thessalonians to lead quiet, busy lives. She goes about her work as it were a calling.

The events of 9-11 cemented me to Christ. I was growing in my knowledge and understanding of, and relationship with Jesus in the year leading up to 9-11-01. That day, I realized that there was One to whom I could turn for purpose, for comfort, and for peace that would transcend all events and circumstances of the world. ...and this has made all the difference.

1 comment:

PJ Colando said...

I am proud to know you, strong Christian contemplator. Here's what I was doing on 9/11/01, in a blog post that was prompted by the announcement that Hostess Twinkies would no longer be made - the small fact that Twinkies didn't disappear as a brand mirrors that America isn't going anywhere soon, a nation "under God"