Friday, September 11

Remembering the fallen...


Lots of strong emotions today. Bear with me as I try to put some of them into words.

I had an 8:00 am class on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and like always, I woke up late, rushed to throw clothes on and made my way across the BYU campus to the Benson Building for my Intro to Communications class. As we students settled into our seats, there were whispers that something catastrophic had just happened in New York City. Something about planes crashing into the Twin Towers? It sounded absurd. Our professor tried to find a radio or TV station so we could figure out what was going on. After about five minutes with no success, she dismissed class and encouraged everyone to go home and watch the news. I rushed back across campus with two friends to the dorms. Along the way I saw my sister Jen and told her that something bad was happening in New York. As soon as I made it back to the dorms, I turned on the little TV in the basement and tried to understand what was I seeing. Two commercial airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center Towers. Mass casualties and mass chaos. I was stunned. The term "terrorist attack" did not exist in my lexicon so I could not understand who would do this and why they would do it. There were about eight of us gathered around the TV, switching between all of the major news channels. I could not wrap my head around what was happening - it seemed like a plot line straight out of a Hollywood movie. The most surreal moment occurred when I watched with mouth wide open and tears in my eyes as the South Tower began to collapse and then thirty minutes later when the North Tower fell. It was a moment and a feeling that will forever be imprinted in my mind and my heart.

Whenever I think about what that day, I become overwhelmed. Overwhelmed that there are people in the world with so much hate and anger towards their brothers and sisters. Overwhelmed when trying to fathom what was going through the minds and hearts of the passengers. Overwhelmed at the number of innocent lives lost. Overwhelmed at the bravery and courage of the firefighters and rescuers. Overwhelmed at the heroic deeds of the passengers of flight United 93. Overwhelmed at how much I love my country and how proud I am to be an American.

I believe with all my heart that those who lost or gave their lives on that day have been rewarded a special in heaven. The following is an essay that I found quite a few years ago and never fails to touch my heart. It is a reminder to me that our Heavenly Father is mindful of all His children and will never leave us alone.

"Where was God on 9/11?"

How many of us have heard that question, "Where was your God when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked?" Well, I know where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001, and He was very busy.

He was trying to discourage anyone from taking these flights. Those four flights held over 1000 passengers and there were only 266 aboard. On one of the flights he was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the hijackers.

He was on four commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm. Not one of the family members who were called by a loved one on one of the hijacked planes said that passengers were screaming in the background.

On one of the flights he was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the hijackers.

He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees at the World Trade Center. After all, only around 20,000 were at the towers when the first jet hit. Since the buildings held over 50,000 workers, this was a miracle in itself. How many of the people who were employed at the World Trade Center told the media that they were late for work or they had traffic delays.

He was holding up two 110 story buildings so that two-thirds of the workers could get out. I was so amazed that the top of the towers didn't topple when the jets impacted. And when they did fall, they fell inward. God didn't allow them to topple over, as many more lives would have been lost.

And when the buildings went down, my God picked up almost 3,000 of his children and carried them home with him. Reassuring his frightened children that the worst was over and the best was yet to come.

He sat down and cried that 19 of his children could have so much hate in their hearts. That they didn't choose him, and now they are lost forever.

He sent his children that are best trained for this disaster and had them save the few that were still alive, but unable to help themselves. And then sent many others to help in any way they were needed.

He still isn't finished though, He held the loved ones that were left behind in His arms. He comforts them daily. His other children are given the strength to reach out to them and help them in any way they can.

And I believe He will continue to help us in what is to come. He will give the people in charge of this great nation the strength and the wisdom to do the right thing. He would never leave us in our time of need.

So, when anyone asks, "Where was your God on September 11th?", you can say "Everywhere."

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