On September 11, 2001, I was in my first hour class of 8th grade. I was on the television news team for our school, and we were filming that morning. My teacher flipped on the TV because we always watched the local news to gear up for our own newscast and I remember him just standing there staring and saying "Oh my God..." We were the first classroom in the school to realize what was happening and quickly word spread. The rest of the day was zombie-like: walking from class to class, teachers not really having lessons, sitting in a circle in homeroom discussing the events. There was a fire drill that day because someone panicked and pulled the alarm. When parents drove by and saw kids standing outside for the drill, they pulled in and were taking their children from the masses. It was chaos.
I remember watching the coverage, talking on the phone with my friend, and just thinking about all those passengers of those planes saying a prayer before crashing into that tower. I remember thinking about what it must have been like to be on that street in New York with all the people screaming. I remember the gas prices sky-rocketing and the mile-long lines at the pumps. I remember the weeks and weeks of news coverage of the aftermath. I remember my friend's dad being sent to Ground Zero because he was a firefighter and they needed more help. I remember hugging my parents a little tighter that day...
What have we learned since that day in 2001? That united, we are stronger. That we have something worth fighting for. That there is so much hate and anger in the world. That the power of prayer is indescribable. That we should ALWAYS say "I love you" before our loved ones go off to work or hang up the phone. That time is relative and lives are fragile.
Today I'm praying for kids going to school, just learning about the events of that day in history. I'm praying for the departments of firefighters and police men mourning the loss of their partners. I'm praying for the safety of our country on this vulnerable day. I'm praying for the families who miss their husbands and wives and parents and brothers and sisters... I'm praying for all of it. My heart is heavy today, but I know that everyday, we are stronger and that God has a plan for us as a nation.
Our lives are fragile, but our souls are strong.