9/11…We each have our own story, our own memory of that infamous September 11, 2001. To us, the date 9/11 is as vivid of a reminder of the harsh unexpected as 12/7 is to those who once served at Pearl Harbor. Both dates remind us that we are not as loved by those living on planet Earth as we once thought; and we are foolish to do so.
On September 11, 2001, our long-standing love affair with the elusive American Dream and America’s unshaken dynasty was forever diluted within our hearts, minds, and souls. We could no longer afford to believe in the unadulterated version; we now had fact. And, that fact was being witnessed coast to coast as we stood in terror watching the first and the second planes fly uncontested into the New York City Twin Towers sending not our country’s finest soldiers to their graves, but our civilian moms and dads; sisters and brothers.
Worse than anything we could have ever imagined, we watched repetitive scenes of billowing smoke, cement, and melted steel plummeting to the ground burying hundreds of innocent, unsuspected lives beneath. Not only did the twin towers go down that morning, but our lulled sense of Utopia and uncompromising faith in our own personal safety took a harsh blow as well.
And, if the horrific scenes of New York City playing out before our eyes were not enough, sections of our nation’s military headquarters, The Pentagon, were set ablaze after being targeted by another enemy pilot resulting in the loss of added lives. Yet; not even that was enough on that wicked and most evil day. Who can ever forget the group of fine, heroic, patriotic gentlemen, along with innocent passengers, and a determined flight crew who gallantly and bravely gave up their own lives in a barren field in Pennsylvania to save the lives of those who lived and worked in our nation’s capital. A band of brave civilian souls giving up their lives for their country; your country, my country; our country.
Can we ever forget? No; and we should never forget. And, this Sunday, ten years later, our nation will come together once again to pay tribute to those who died and to those who suffered such great agony, loss, and pain. A time of national reflection.
Yet, ten years later, instead of our nation coming together as one nation under God, to rebuild even stronger from the ashes of “Ground Zero,” we are now engulfed and engaged in added difficulties and pressures of a different nature sailing uncharted territories as never before. Today, as a nation, we are struggling to keep our financial institutions alive and thriving, seeking out newer, innovative ways to keep our homes, businesses, jobs, and securities operating and available to our nation’s next generation and beyond, and fighting three wars on foreign soil. God, have mercy on America.
Oh, how sadly we have witnessed the physical, emotional, mental, financial, and spiritual attacks on our nation’s soil these past ten years. Yet, with all of these trying times of tribulation surrounding us, I can firmly state with all confidence and assurance that America is still by far the greatest and most blessed nation on Earth!
Like you, I can vividly recall exactly where I was standing when I saw the first plane hit the towers. As team leader, I along with my two teammates were responsible for 100 eight graders at Garrett Middle School in Austell, Georgia. It was morning break and the three classes had just emerged into the hallway walking towards the commons area for locker and restroom break.
TV monitors hung from the ceiling in the cafeteria/commons area. As faculty members and staff in the administrative offices were watching the unfolding of events, the station was also being streamed into the commons area as well. Suddenly, one of my students came rushing up to me, pointing his finger at the monitor, and yelling, “Mrs. Rollins, America is under attack!” I quickly turned around to see the replaying of the first plane flying into the tower when suddenly the replay was interrupted to show live coverage of the second plane flying into the second tower. I stood there both stunned and speechless.
Yet, my two teammates and I quickly rounded up our students and headed back to our classrooms. About the time we entered into our rooms, the school’s principal came over the intercom to inform every one of what was happening across our country and that we would be on lock-down until further notice.
How on earth do you turn around and look into the fearful eyes of thirty eight-graders not knowing how to explain to them what was happening; especially, when you didn’t understand it yourself? With all the confidence I could manage to compose and express, I assured my students that we were going to be alright and to turn to page so-and-so in their Georgia History books and get started on the day’s lesson. On that particular day, I along with my teammates taught as hard, as consistent, and as dedicated as possible under the circumstances.
As I taught that day, I knew each time that my eyes directly met the eyes of one of my students, he or she was silently asking, “Are we ok?” Each time I would offer a slight nod with a, hopeful, nurturing smile.
At lunch, our students ate inside of the classroom as our meals were delivered to us. As our meals were being delivered, I was told that I had a telephone call in the teacher’s office. I was relieved to answer the call. It was my husband who was at his church where he was the Pastor. His immediate words to me were, “I love you and I’m at the church praying for what all this is going on. If anything happens to you or to me today, just know I love you.” I could feel the tears in his eyes as I wiped the tears from my eyes to head back to the classroom.
I wonder how many pastors, preachers, deacons, teachers, choir directors, principals, bankers, bus drivers, firemen, policemen, doctors, nurses, grandmothers, grandfathers, moms and dads along with thousands of other believers all across our nation huddled somewhere that morning and prayed, “for what all this is going on…”
Today, we still don’t know “what all this is going on,” but we have rid ourselves of a false sense of security that we are nation that cannot be attacked or faced with a plethora of complexed challenges. Today, ten years later, we know differently; we have learned the hard way, and we will hopefully never forget. For our safety does not soley rest in our outstanding military personnel and the answers to our nation’s future do not solely rest in the cognitive resources of our leaders, but our day to day safety and our future rests solely in the unseen, unwavering, sustaining hands of our Creator and Heavenly Father; God through the abundant mercies of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ….(John 3:16-17 KJV).
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell….For in the time of trouble He (God) shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of His tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock…Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies; for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he (God) shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say on the Lord. ” (Psalm 27 KJV)
And…EXCEPT the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it; EXCEPT the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain….Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in His ways.” (Psalm 127 KJV)
Today, we all are greatly reminded that our protection and our daily provisions are held in the Almighty hands of our God and our LORD to whom we commit our lives.
Will you join me in Prayer: “Our precious Heavenly Father and God, please continue to bless and to heal the hearts and lives of those who suffered so many losses from that most tragic and cruel attack on our land on 9/11/01. Thank you for those who gave up their lives in protecting others on that day. Thank you for our dedicated military men and women all over the globe who serve our country well. May our hearts continue to be healed and bound together through kindness, generosity, prayers, and faith in You. May our nation’s leaders steadfastly look unto You, Oh God, for guidance, direction, and wisdom to deal with the many challenges that we face as a nation. May we follow the prayer found in II Chronicles chapter seven, verse 14, If my people, which are called by my name (Christians), shall 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. Thank you, Lord, for this amazing promise found in your Word. And, may we forever know within our hearts and mind that it is You, Heavenly Father, who sustains us and protects us from all evil. We give thanks unto You for all things. May your Name forever be uplifted within our hearts and from our tongues on this day and every day; forever more. And always….we pray…God Bless the USA. Amen.”
Remember, God Loves You.
Lin T. Rollins, Author
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