Saturday, September 11, 2021
Twenty years have gone by. I am 33 years old. At the time, I was 13 years old when the attacks happened. The question everybody always wants to know of others is, “Where were you when all of this happened? I was in my 7th-grade health class at John Marshall Middle School in Indianapolis. I didn’t get to see the news coverage when it happened because my teacher shut the tv off. All the events that were going on, I wanted to know what was going on. I don’t know if this still happens in school or not, but when I was in school, the tv automatically came on. On this day, the tv automatically came on, and at that time, the North tower was hit then.
As I sit here and watch the memorials, I can’t help but have a heavy heart for those who suffered on this day 20 years ago. But, I am thinking currently, where does all the hate come from? Why does hate happen so much in this world? Romans 12:21 reminds us not to be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good. Twenty years ago, everybody came together as a nation, under God. I watched the horror of the towers coming down, the dust, the people struggling for breath. These are images I will never forget. I don’t live in New York, or Virginia, where the Pentagon was hit, or in Shanksville, but I feel it happened in Indiana. When I left my health class, I ran straight to homeroom, hoping my teacher there would have it on. Sure enough, she did. I sat there the entire homeroom time, eyes glued to the tv and watching old footage and new footage when it came in. Both towers were down, and the E ring of the Pentagon was down by the time I started watching again.
All day on September 11, 2001, I couldn’t concentrate. The horror going on around the USA; why am I forced to focus in school when something else is on my mind? Like those in New York, Virginia, Shanksville, I can’t work, but I sure felt helpless, especially as a 13-year old boy. I went home and watched more news coverage as much as possible, but I never did grasp the concept. It took me 17 years to finally understand what had happened. My mind kept going back to those pictures after the tower collapsed and the spotlight the night after the events occurred.
As we remember, those whose lives were lost on this day, first responders, public safety officials, ponder this scripture. 3 John 1:11 say, “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” It’s a hard day for those who lost loved ones. Showing love should be every day. Help others when you disagree, dislike someone. It shows God in you. The more that can happen, the more we can take over the world with goodness. Nobody should live with the horror of September 11. The pain, grief, sorrow, hurt, worry all those things. Take time to pray and meditate on how God wants you to work.
Father, many people are hurting, even after 20 years of destruction. People are still grieving as well. So let us pray for those hurting today, suffering, confused, worried, anxious, or wanting to hurt themselves because of the events of September 11. But, unfortunately, there are not many answers to give that happiness, but they hold on every day, every year that the remembrance happens. So let us be the shining light in those that struggle today and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen!