You’d have to be cra cra to not know what yesterday was. It was the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
I’m usually not the person you would find dressed in the American Flag on the 4th of July…but yesterday I totally could of defied all of Stacey London’s guidance on attire and done it (no, I didn’t, those who saw me speak can be my witnesses). The song by Allen Jackson was ringing in my little brain the last couple days. Where were you when the world stopped turning? Even though we all know that the world did not literally stop turning on that day, whew, it sure felt like it.
To some of my small group leaders rolling of eyes last night, when I shared how old I was at the time of 9/11, which is 9th grade, I still know that I am on the other side of things…I remember life before it.
The year prior to the 9/11 attacks, we had our 8th grade trip to New York and Washington D.C. I remember all of us at the airport so excited to not just be going to New York and D.C. but to be going with our friends! All our parents traced back to the gate with us (yes, students reading this, people could actually wait with you at your gate back then). I remember one dad, goofily, standing at the window looking at the plane we were about to board, with a video camera in his hand saying, “look at da plane, look at da plane!” Such a different period in time. The freedom we had to not worry about people of all kinds coming to our gate with us!
Fast forward a year, I had just finished P.E. class at 1st period (stinks, I know!) I was getting into my locker and right beside our 9th grade hallway was Coach Edwards classroom. He was turning on his tv to show a video in geography, and there it was…the planes hitting the tower. We all stopped. Some were asking if it was a movie, and I remember his gruesome look as he relayed that he was afraid that it wasn’t. In class, we sat with a radio or tv on in every class listening to the news. We prayed. We couldn’t go outside to eat lunch. They made us eat in our rooms because they didn’t want the majority of the student body at any one particular location. It was bizarre…seeing teachers that were strong in their faith being brought to tears. I remember being afraid. I look back, and it was probably more the fear of the unknown.
That afternoon, I remember getting home from school and sitting down at my desk to do some homework. I looked at the side of my desk and saw this picture (please don’t make fun…I know I was awk).
I remember flipping out a little bit. We took a bunch of pictures in this spot. We had just gotten done touring the Statue of Liberty and decided to take this moment as a photo op.
As I was mentally preparing myself for yesterday, I got to thinking, the students I work with really have no clue what the difference is. I mean the oldest a current student of mine would of been is 8. So even if they had travelled prior to the 9/11 attacks they probably don’t remember anything being significantly different.
I loved eaves dropping last night on some of the small groups as the students asked the leaders about the differences. One leader asked the students, “what do you think would be different if that day had not happened?” The students were apparently pretty right on for how it was.
What kept ringing in my head on this issue is that post 9/11 is these students reality. They do not know anything different. No wonder this generation of students is so untrusting. Duh. No wonder they value authenticity,…they live in a world where people are trying to dupe who they really are in order to cause havoc. Wow.
Last night, I was doing my gratitude journal before bed, and this is one of the things I wrote: “My ability to live with out fear because of those who protect, fight, and watch over me and this country, spiritually as well as physically.” All I know is I have no clue the impact that those events had on families immediately affected as well as those affected in the aftermath events. However, I am thankful. I’m thankful for those who do care about our physical freedom, because I probably have no clue what it could be like. I know what it’s like to not have freedom in Christ and what it’s like to have freedom in Christ and if it’s anything like that,…then I am thankful for those who fight for it!