Monday, September 12, 2011

September 11th - A Remembering

As we came upon the 10 year anniversary of September 11th this year, it was hard to believe that much time has passed.  If you have been alive during any major historical event such as that, it is hard not to remember where you were, what you were doing, and what you were feeling.  If you were alive when President Kennedy was shot, you will remember the happenings of the day.  If you were on campus at the University of Mississippi when the first African-American, James Meredith, came to the school like my dad and mom were, you might remember your eyes and lungs burning from the tear gas that day as people rioted and US Marshals were called in.  If you were alive on September 11th, you will remember it as a day that changed the way Americans thought about ourselves as well as our enemies.

That day we had a psychological shift from thinking America was safe to the realization that America was not immune to a major terrorist attack.  That day we vowed we would never forget.  That day we vowed all of those people would not have died in vain, and the people who did this act would pay. That day we held our children a little bit tighter.  That day we teared up when our spouses came home from work.  That day we saw that true evil does exist.  That day we were horrified to see people jumping from windows of the World Trade Center, because the instant death of the ground would be less painful than being burned alive.  That day we wept.  That day we prayed fervently for the people in the towers, the firefighter, police officers, loved ones, etc.  That day we were more aware that life is fragile, and you never know when it is going to be your time to go.  And God willing, you will be in a secure place with your Maker and have a relationship with Jesus Christ before your number is called.

That day started like any other day for me.  My friend, Kristin, and I would swap childcare out every week so we could have "mommy time".  I took my three year old and my 9 month old over to Kristin's house that morning.  I was still nursing my 9 month old, and I remember being worried that he would not take the bottle with the milk I had pumped while he was over at Kristin's that day.  Those worries seemed so inconsequential compared to the events of the day to come.  In the car on the way home, I heard on the radio, "America is under attack."  I thought to myself, "What is the media blowing out of proportion this time?"  As I got closer and closer to home, I realized this was not the typical media drama.  I sat in front of the TV the whole day watching in real time as the second plane crashed, the first tower fell, and then the second fell.  It was horrific.  This was not Hollywood or the movies.  This was real.

As fate would have it, I had already decided to use my "mommy time" to work on hand quilting a quilt made to look like an American flag for my son's toddler bed.  Hand work was hard to get done with the little ones underfoot.  We had decided to decorate my son's room with an Americana theme.  Red, white, and blue with some western touches such as cowboys and horseshoes.  As I sat hand quilting stars and stripes together, I couldn't help but feel a little like Betsy Ross.  With every cut of the fabric and every stitch of the thread, I felt more and more proud to be an American.  I felt, and I think we all felt, more knitted together as Americans that day than ever before.  I am still proud to be an American.  I may be losing faith in Washington, politicians, and lawmakers, but I haven't lost faith in America or in the American people.  I still think America is the best place in the world to live.

The Finished Quilt
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;  there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  Revelation 21:4

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