Today marked the 10 year anniversary of September 11, 2001.
The day that changed our nation in ways we never imagined.
I was an 8th grade student at Maple Grove Junior High on September 11th. I remember I
was sitting in study hall. I can still see the classroom and where I was sitting in my head.
I remember Mr. Irvine (a beloved Math teacher) sticking his head into the classroom door saying something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York.
I had no idea what he was talking about. He said he didn't know anything more and left.
We just continued working on our homework, thinking that nothing else would happen.
When I walked into my next classroom, I soon knew that was not the case.
Mr. Sackett, my science teacher, had the T.V.'s on in his classroom. He told us we wouldn't have
a lesson today, and that we would just sit and watch the news. I remember feeling confused
and scared as I watched the Twin towers on fire. The look of panic on the peoples faces
made me feel uneasy. I didn't know what to do. I remember feeling so helpless and like I wanted
to do something to help. Then, without any notice, the first tower fell. I was shocked.
I didn't think that was possible. Then the next tower. Then there was news about more planes,
and the Pentagon. It seemed like it was all a really bad dream.
I remember after I got home, my Mom had the T.V. on and was watching the news.
We didn't say anything to each other. She just hugged me. We sat and watched
the coverage of this terrible day for the rest of the night.
My husband asked me today why I was so interested in watching coverage on something so sad.
I told him it's how I remember what happened on the awful day 10 years ago.
It's how I show my patriotism for this country. It's how I show my faith in a loving Heavenly Father,
who guides us and watches over us, even when something terrible like this happens.
A few days ago I remember Chris and I got into a conversation about 9/11. I asked
him if he thought Heavenly Father caused so many people to die because we as a people were
becoming too prideful and greedy. He said that sometimes good people die because
of other people's wickedness, and that as tragic as it was, the people responsible for what happened
had their free agency and they chose to do these things. It's so sad to think that good, innocent
people had to die because a handful of men chose to follow a wicked man.
What happened to our nation though after 9/11 was remarkable. For a little while, people
started turing to our Father in Heaven. They were kind. They prayed a lot. They showed compassion
and love towards complete strangers. Even though we as a nation had to go through something
so horrific and life changing, it brought us closer to Heavenly Father, and showed us
the love that He has for each and every one of us.
Just this last week, President Thomas S. Monson (President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) made these comments in The Washington Post. I love the sweet testimony that
he bore. Here are some of his words:
"The calamity of September 11th, 2001 has cast a long shadow...many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts. It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world...
There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding...
Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way...
Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering. Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers. Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this
will never change.
If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season."
What peace and comfort we have as members of the church, and as a nation, to
know of the love that a Father in Heaven has for His children. Even when there seems
to be tragedy all around, we can be assured that we are loved.
Today I remembered not only what September 11, 2001 was like for me at the age of 13, but what
it has been like for our country. All the changes we've been through in the last decade.
But most of all it was to remember those who lost their lives.
May we always remember.