I was a college student. I wasn't married. I didn't have children. I slept late as usual and rushed to class. The day was particularly gorgeous. I remember that distinctly. I walked into the history building, and got into the elevator with a couple other students who were in my class.
It's interesting to me now, that I can remember tiny details about this day. I remember what the building looked like as I approached it. I remember the smell in the air - fall approaching but not yet here. Just a hint of it in the still warm air that was crisp because the heat of the day wasn't upon us yet. I remember where exactly I stood in the elevator. I remember thoughts I was thinking. I had no idea at that moment that I was going to hear terrible news. In that moment the world was beautiful and perfect. The day was a blessing. I remember being unusually happy that day because of the weather. So strange. In the elevator, my classmates looked sad. I felt wonderful, and I thought I should say something to be friendly. I usually am a shy and more reserved person with people I do not know well...but that day I felt I should say something. "What a beautiful day" I sighed. Only to then see tears form in the eyes of a girl in the elevator, and for another one to say "You don't know what happened, do you?". Then they told me.
And I couldn't breathe. It really felt like everything stopped. It wasn't real. Nothing like this had ever happened before. I mean, there was Desert Storm...but I was young and even though I had friends whose parents were soldiers, I was just too young to truly understand then what war was. And when I was a child I lived in the town where the Luby's massacre happened. That affected me in many ways, but this was different. This felt...personal. It felt like a stab at my heart. I felt sick, and yet I was surrounded by so much beauty that day. I have heard that a lot of people remember that day as being particularly beautiful. I wonder if it really was, and if God knew what sad things would happen, and was showing His goodness and love to us in that beautiful day, or if we all just remember it as being so beautiful because we have to have some goodness about that day to keep going, to give ourselves comfort and hope.
Classes were canceled. I gathered with my boyfriend (now husband) and his best friend in their dorm room. We watched. My history teacher who had dismissed us from class, told us to go and watch the news. That this was history unfolding. This was our World War II. This was our Civil War. This was our Revolution. This would change us she said. And that we needed to watch. So we did. And we cried. And we hurt. I was angry and couldn't believe what was happening. Back then, my faith was not strong. I had no pillar of strength in Jesus.
We all remember that day. Where we were. What we were doing. The sights and smells surrounding us. We all cried. That day we were all together. No matter what our political ideas or our place in the social order, we were Americans. We loved each other. We were truly United. In the past 10 years, things have changed again. We have forgotten what it was truly like that day, and how we all came together in love. I know tomorrow will be hard for so many people. I want to ask you all to pray for the families who are missing their loved ones. For the children who never got to know their parents. For parents who lost their children. Pray for our country to remember the unity we had. The love that was shown immediately following this tragedy. Pray for God to love and forgive us and to just hold us all in His hands. And remember. Just like we watched tv that day as things unfolded, remind yourself tomorrow. It doesn't have to be of the towers. But read or learn about some of the people who were there that day. Who sacrificed so much for others. There is a glimpse of Jesus in so many of these people and their stories from that day. Don't let the day pass by without remembering. Don't be sad. Don't let the terrorists steal the joy from this day forever. Rejoice in our survival, in the Christlike love that was shown that day, rejoice in your family and in the beautiful day that God is blessing us with. But please don't forget. Live tomorrow to its absolute fullest.