“Where did the summer go!?!” Isn’t that what we always say when Labor Day approaches and kids prepare to go back to school? As we get older, those three short months fly by ever faster! (For a bit of philosophical silliness on this topic and more pretty pictures, see this post: It’s All Washed Away Except the Mouse Fur)
“I know the summer will pass happily away. I mean never to be later in rising than six, and from that time till dinner I shall divide every moment between music and reading. (Sense and Sensibility, chapter 46)
I did read quite a bit this summer, as Marianne vowed to do, although I rarely rose as early as six! Otherwise, my only major accomplishment was to launch a new book (Colonel Brandon in His Own Words) and take it on tour, virtually. That project occupied the largest part of June and July, which only left some free time in August. A trip to the family cabin on a lake near Kalispell, Montana, was the highlight of this month.
I had hoped to have my next novel started by now, or at least planned out, but I confess I do not. I’m still not sure what kind of book I want to write next (which means I’m still open to suggestions, btw!). About the only writing I’ve been doing this summer is a column for the local paper: an “Inspirational Message” that publishes every other Sunday, which I’ve been providing for the past year. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have read some of them already, since I’ve been posting them there (and on a couple of FB groups) since May, as The Wednesday Word.
But today, I decided to give you an advance look at the one that will roll off the presses in 2 weeks, on September 11th, actually. And as you will see, the publication date provided the inspiration for this piece:
Do You Remember?
Where were you when you heard about the terrorist attacks September 11th, 2001? Twenty-one years later, those of us who were adults at the time all remember. Without knowing what was going on, I went for a dental appointment that morning. When I got there, I was told I would have to reschedule, but nobody explained why. So still in the dark, I stopped by Fred Meyer, where a total stranger, with tears in her eyes, gave me the unthinkable news. I was home, glued to the TV by the time the second tower fell. What’s your story?
We were all deeply shaken that day that such a terrible thing could happen on US soil, that nearly 3000 lives could be snuffed out in a single act of hatred. We suddenly felt much more vulnerable, knowing that this country’s great wealth, military might, and sophisticated intelligence community had not been able to protect us.
There were some positive side effects, though. A wave of patriotism swept the country. Flags flew everywhere. We were united by a common heartbreak and a common cause. Also, with fresh evidence that the future was uncertain and we were not in control, people in record numbers turned to God for help. They hit their knees in prayer, churches were filled, and “God Bless America” was sung at every ball game.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron. 7:14)
Unfortunately, our memories are short. The threat doesn’t seem so near anymore, does it? And a new generation has since grown up having never experienced the horror of that day. We’ve resumed ‘business as usual.’ We’ve grown divided over a multitude of issues, and we’ve forgotten our need for God. I certainly don’t wish for another 9/11 style tragedy. What I do wish is that this anniversary would remind us of lessons learned the hard way that day, so that we will not be required to repeat them. I pray we would recapture the positive side effects rather than inviting a new disaster.
This country, though never perfect, was founded on godly principles and called by His name: …one nation under God. May we be humble enough to accept that we are not in charge; He is. Let us, as individuals and as a nation, turn from our errant ways and seek His face – His will, not anybody’s political agenda. Only then can we hope that God will heal the divisions in our land, making America healthy, whole, and strong.
So, what’s your September 11th story? Did the experience change you? Do you think that humanity learned anything from what happened that day?
If you want to read more of my “Inspirational Messages,” watch for them every Wednesday on my Facebook page. Scroll back to find any you’ve missed – ones I’ve already shared there since May (look for this graphic). I also wrote a Jane Austen Devotional that might interest you.
Any further thoughts on what you’d like to see me write next? See previous post, What’s For the Encore?, for my ideas. Or just suggest one of your own. I love hearing from readers. Really!
Prequel to p and p maybe …loved the post Shannon and i do remember quite clearly where I was 21 years ago …I Never Forget!!!
Thanks for commenting, Wendy. 🙂
I was fortunate not to lose anyone that day two decades ago, but know people who were saved by chance. The friend in the subway when the track disappeared as they approached the Trade Center station; she had to walk back to the previous station in the dark. My cousin’s son who worked there but had just left for an appointment. My daughter’s friend whose son was mugged the week before, which turned out to be a blessing, as his brother who worked in the trade center had taken the 9-11 morning off to take his brother to a medical appointment.
On the other hand, my daughter’s company’s branch office in the trade center phoned her branch to say they were all fine. Then their tower fell and they weren’t…
My daughter went into a deep depression after that day, and she changed the direction of her life from IT to counseling others.
You were much closer to the tragedy, Beatrice. I knew nobody directly or even indirectly involved. The instances you mention are so intriguing – those seemingly random chances that took people there that morning or kept them away. Reminds me of a movie called “Sliding Doors.” Have you seen it? Your daughter’s experience is especially poignant. I hope she is well now and happier in her new career than in her old.
Thanks so much for sharing this.
My daughter also had a friend whose brother lived across from the Pentagon. He saw the plane crashing into the building and immediately contacted his sister. She contacted my daughter, who called me. So I actuaĺly heard about the Pentagon incident before it hit the news. Bad news travels fast.