Even though today is our oldest grandson's 14th birthday and we are celebrating the gift he is in our lives, I cannot help but think back on the changes that took place in our country on September 11, 2001.
Like 97% of our country, I can remember exactly where I was and how I felt that morning when I turned on the TV and watched the terrorist attacks on our country. I did not move from my chair the for hours and checked with our children scattered around the U.S. to make sure they were okay. We were filled with shock and disbelief.
What I remember in the days to follow is how our country pulled together. How "united we stand" became a motto we all embraced. Shock and disbelief turned to grief for those who lost loved ones and the whole country grieved with those who suffered. We grieved the loss of a bit more innocence. We came to realize how vulnerable we were as a country. Churches were flooded with those who felt fear and worry over the future. Support poured in to search for the living, then quickly the dead, and eventually the remains of those who died in the towers. More support came in the way of donations to help those families left behind. We all wanted to help in some way and it did not matter your race, your religion, your political point of view.
We were one.
I long for that again. I long for our churches to be full and for people to encourage and support each other. I long for race, religion, and politics to not divide us as communities, as a country.
But today I look back and reflect on that day and the months that followed. I reflect on where we are as a country,and how I can do my part to be united with those around me, across the country and throughout the world.
I look back and I pray, giving thanks for all those who lost their lives serving in our military and serving as responders during and after 9-11. I give thanks for all that I have, for how safe and free I am in America, and for the life I am able to live.