(This is the same post I've put up on Lifepundit.net. Sorry for the repeat, and no doubt everything has been said already about 9/11, but I haven't told my version so I'm taking my turn now. Please indulge.)
It's easier to mark Princess Diana's death than to once again revisit 9/11, the very date itself an emergency phone call. That's because she's gone and mourned (a little puzzling, all that mourning), but 9/11 is the day the world changed, and for that, it is still with us.
Where were you? Of course you'll never forget.
I was at the gym, riding a bike next to an old friend from high school. We had just dropped our kids off at the school we had attended. My old friend is a pilot who now trains new pilots for a major airline. He also flew F-16s in Gulf War I. We were talking about nothing when we saw all the TVs stop their programming and switch to live coverage of the first smoking tower.
My friend tried to think of how this could be, an aircraft hitting one of the towers. "It's a clear day," he said. "Even on heavily overcast days, you can still see the towers. They reach above the clouds. You can always see the towers."
"Maybe it was engine trouble," I said. That was a stretch and we both knew it.
The news said first it was a small plane, then that theory began to change.
"I hope it's not one of ours," he said. It wasn't one belonging to his airline. But we later realized that all the aircraft that day belonged to all of us.
Then the second plane hit. "Terrorists," we both said. We even knew the name.
I had seen Osama's ugly picture on a bumper sticker not long before, on a country road not far from my house. The driver, a young man, had glared at me with hatred when he saw me studying him. You don't see those bumper stickers any more, though I'm sure the young men are out there still. That's the scary part.
I heard about the Pentagon strike on the radio on the way home from the gym. What would be next?
My sky had fallen the month before. My husband had been laid off, just a few weeks after getting an attaboy and a bonus for some outstanding work he had done. They laid him off before they had to pay him the bonus. He had an interview and a flight booked for 9/13. No flights went out that day. And the company put the job he was seeking on hold.
I was surprised at how silent the skies were on 9/11. We live near a couple of air bases, and F-16s and F-18s are a common sight and sound. On 9/11, I wanted to see them busting open the skies. I wanted to hear their shrieks, left so far behind that sometimes the jets are out of sight before you hear them. I wanted to go outside and yell, Fly Fly Fly! But wherever they were, they were silent. They were not in my sky, keeping watch or waiting.
Since then, I've heard two reasons for this and I don't know which is true. One is that they were not flying because they were fully armed and waiting. They don't go screaming over my pasture and house with real weapons on them. The other reason I've heard was that they were patrolling Atlanta.
The silence everywhere, except for the news. And I wept and cried out to God.
Now I know more. This past week Osama said it would all be over if we would convert to Islam. I have read about Islam a great deal in the past six years, and their god is not God. Theirs is the god of death.
I see this as a great cosmic battle, though I know that we are not entirely good. And not all who fight on our side or from our country are believers. But I know that our God is good, and that God has always used imperfect people. And if, as Jesus says, "By their fruits ye shall know them," I can't say much for people who blow up their own children to kill their enemies, who oppress their women and kill the innocent, as being a religion of peace.
I know that's not PC to say. But if they want me to see them as being peaceful, they'll have to BE peaceful.
I won't claim this is the end of times and that there are signs all around. Jesus already told us we wouldn't know, so why do all those mental contortions to try to figure it out? He did tell us how to live, and that seems a better use of today.
I thank God today that I am free to worship him. I thank God that there has been no other 9/11 on our soil. And I thank and praise God that I know that no matter what happens between now and then, our God will prevail.