As I sit here reflecting back to ten years ago, it is hard to believe the horror and fear that swept the nation and world that morning. I sat at my desk here in Cincinnati, when my wife called and said someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center in NYC. I was in shock, and even considered that she was joking. However, soon I realized that it was no joke; it was the nightmare that hit to close to home. I remember standing with friends at work watching the second plane hit the tower, the Pentagon getting hit, and hearing of the plane crashing in Pennsylvania. I remember to this day hearing the words come out of my mouth, “I wish there was something I could do.” God heard those words.
Three months later my family and I are visiting in NYC as a candidate for the position as Director of the Hope Center, a post 9/11 organization being put together by the Assemblies of God churches on Staten Island, to minister to the folks affected by that horrifying day. In May of the 2002 I would move with my family to Staten Island, NYC and for the next ten months would talk with people in person, and on the phone about that day that had become seared into their mind. I spent time at ground zero with a police officer that was only yards away when the first tower came down, watching people being crushed under falling debris and nothing he could do. I talked and prayed on the phone with a fireman that was at home in Long Island with the flu, who had called in sick that morning, realizing as he watched the news his engine company went into the tower and never came out. I spent hours standing at the gate of recovery zone, with a Salvation Army Major that had been one of the first counselors there to help counsel folks that morning. For nine months I drove by Fresh Kills Garbage dump where the remains of bodies, and debris were separated remembering the smell, and the sights of watching the trucks pull away, stays clear in my mind. I still talk with many of my friends, that were counselors at Ground Zero, as bodies were found, and responders needed to talk.
It has been ten years; I still hear the stories in my mind and realize that even with not being there in NYC on that day, it has affected my life in an enormous way. Today I reflect on the memory, realizing that too many individuals were affected by an event that was motivated by hatred of a radical few. But that has affected millions around the world, even today.
As you reflect on today … 9/11 …
· What is your memory of that day?
· As a Man or Women of God what have you learned from the event and the aftermath over the past ten years?
· Has the nightmare of that day, drawn you and kept you closer to God than you were on September 10, 2001?