I'm not an overly sentimental person when it comes to national holidays or days of mourning.
However, as we have arrived at 10 years after the attacks on September 11, 2001, I can't help but think of that morning.
I was a Super Senior in college (only one semester after 4 previous years, don't get on my case too mcuh). I woke up that morning at my regular time, somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning, central time. I turned on the TV in my room to watch the Today show while I got ready, and I saw black smoke rising from the towers. I don't honestly have really firm recollections of everything in the order in which they happened, but it seemed like I first saw the towers after they'd been hit, but before they fell.
Classes weren't cancelled, so I went a head over a bit early. Seems like we stood around the department office watching for a long time. I'm pretty sure I saw them fall, but I don't remember if it was at home, or at school. I've seen those images so many times repeated on TV that it's hard to remember what the "original" memory is.
I didn't know anyone who was killed in the attacks. My family and friends were all safely living their lives far away from the tragic events of that morning.
The pastor of the college church group I attended was part of a search and rescue team that was called from Missouri that morning. He and his crew loaded up and were gone for 10 days, sleeping and eating where and when they could while dedicatedly searching for survivors at ground zero. I don't remember the details of his testimony of that time, but I remember that some of the first hand details were horrific, and others gave a strong and clear message of the power of the love of God even in the midst of disaster and chaos.
That was an awful, confusing day. From the ashes of the buildings and planes and lives destroyed, people have striven to overcome, to rise up and become something more, something better. I don't long for the time immediately after the attacks when it seemed like the whole country pulled together and set aside stupid differences. Unfortunately, tragedy does that to people, and we have to move on and address all the issues that still face us. We still have to pay bills, do our jobs, and argue about the best way to run the country. It sure would be nice, though, if people could remember just a little the unity and compassion that we felt at that time. What could we accomplish if we really sought to work together, with a heart for the good of each?