Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Memories and Moments in Time
Who could ever forget the events of September 11, 2001? I believe that life as we knew it changed for us all with the tragedies of that day. What happened that day became personal, very personal for us all. An overwhelming grief of loss settled in our hearts as we embraced all the brothers and sisters of our American family. We wept, we grieved, we pledged to help in any way that we could, we prayed together, we prayed in prayer chains, we prayed with our prayer groups and vowed never to lose sight of what September 11, 2001 meant to us and our American family.
Dwight and I had just returned from vacationing in Colorado. We had made some life changing decisions during our trip—I was NOT to take my briefcase full of work on vacation ever again. Dwight made the decision to retire from his (almost) 30 year career in municipal government. That fateful Tuesday was our first day back and we were up early, preparing for work. The early shows were on the television, when the regular morning program was interrupted with breaking news and footage of the attack on the World Trade Center. I remember a surreal feeling, an overwhelming disbelief of the reality to what was being shown and what was being reported. We both ended up staying home and watched the news coverage non stop and into the late evening.
In talking to Dwight later, I told him the feelings I felt brought to mind the recollections of our parents and grandparents talking of the “most famous broadcast in radio history”. That broadcast was said to have caused widespread panic in 1938 as listeners thought there really was an invasion in process in America. In actuality, Orson Welles was reading an adaptation of H.G. Wells science fiction novel, The War of the Worlds for his radio anthology series. Now in 1938, it was surreal fiction, but in 2001 it was real life that millions of us watched repeated over and over.
Now, twelve years to the day, we still remember the horrors that began and continued to unfold the duration of that very sad day. But, the promises and vows made that same day, have seemed to have slowly slipped into the far recesses of the minds of too many. Our borders remain virtually open to all who wish to enter. Threats continue, our skies carry the scares invoked by the likes of “shoe” and “underwear” bombers and the frequency of reported suicide bombers have become so commonplace that it is no longer a shock to hear of these attacks. And in the aftermath of Benghazi, some have obviously been “numbed down” by accepting the explanations summarized such as “What difference does it make?”. And too few consider what happened at Fort Hood a terrorist’s massacre, accepting instead as an incident motivated by “workplace violence”. And of late, the Boston Marathon bombings have shown us the “innocence of youth” in the picture of one of the bombers on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
As I am reflecting on America’s outcries, promises, and vows on September 11, 2001 and soon thereafter, it makes me question what has happened to us in these twelve short years, as we almost seem accepting and apathetic of such tragedy. Is it because of our media’s success in watered down and misreporting that we are slowly becoming numb to it all and accepting their invalidation as correct? Have we lost our sense of outrage over such atrocities of these bombings and massacres? Do you see the national pride in Americans in 2013 that was so evident in 2001? Are we becoming a nation so desensitized that another attack such as September 11, 2001 would be accepted as just another incident? Is this how the mass exterminations of millions occurred during World War II because too many people became desensitized to those abominable acts in this world? We need to pray that the Lord will keep our memories of that fateful day in 2001 alive in our mind. We need to feel the grief and pain of those memories so that we will never become so desensitized to accept such tragedies of the Boston Marathon, Benghazi, Fort Hood and countless other attacks on our brothers and sisters of our great America as just another day, another happening.