With Finding Nemo entertaining Aidan and Toby in the background, I'll attempt a quick memory of what I was doing the morning of September 11, 2001. Nevermind, Aidan's not entertained by Nemo, he's climbing on my lap. Hang on a sec while I distract him...
Okay now that big brother's legos are employed in entertaining Aidan, here we go!
As for the rest of America, 9/11 started out as any morning. I was curled up in my sweats having my coffee with Katie and Matt, Al and Ann while Evan (then 12 days short of 1 year old) was toddling around playing and waiting to start the day. He'd probably had his breakfast and was just playing around, though the events of the early morning aren't as clear to me as the events of the mid morning. Anyway, I was watching the Today Show when suddenly one of the reporters interrupted whatever segment he was doing to announce that an airplane had just flown into the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, "what sort of dummy pilot would fly into a building?" As I watched the smoke pouring out of the first tower, was getting a little annoyed that they were spending so much time on this idiot pilot and weren't getting back to the story! It was at that time that I watched in disbelief as the second plane hit the second tower. Something in me knew that this couldn't be an accident and Katie and Matt confirmed that suspicion as information came in that this was indeed a terrorist attack. Thankfully Evan was in a stage when he would sometimes take a morning nap, so I snuggled him into his crib and went back to watch more history in the making. I called a friend to warn her to not let the kids watch TV that morning because it was pretty scary. While I was on the phone with her the reports came through that the Pentagon had been hit, then the plane in Philadelphia hit down in an empty field. She suggested that because it was a terrorist attack stemming from the Middle East that gas prices were about to skyrocket and that I should go fill up now before they hit $3/gallon! So, knowing that I could easily become obsessed with the news and the reports rolling over and over and over again, I pulled myself away and turned off the TV. I went to take my shower, got Evan up and dressed for the day and left the house.
As I left the house, I did take a quick look up in the sky. It was a warm fall day, but I was a tad nervous to be out in public. As I was driving to the gas station (I took Kelly's advice!) I noticed that people were driving differently. We were extra cautious, but also friendly. I was stopped at a red light and the person stopped next to me gave a wistful smile. We made a connection, "something scary has happened here, hasn't it."
Like many people, we cancelled our planned activities for the evening and met together with other brothers and sisters at church to pray. We prayed for the rescuers, for the families and for the children whos parents would not be coming home. We prayed for our leaders and we prayed for our enemies.
The days and weeks following 9/11 I flew our flag day after day. As it flapped against our front door, it constantly caught Evan's eye. One of his first words in those days before his first birthday was "flag". I talked to him about the flag, about the colors and about how he is an American boy. I have a picture of him several months later marching around the house waving his little flag and singing, "God Bless America"! (Yes, he was a really early talker!)
Yesterday our pastor reminded us that we are Americans, yes, but that if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we are first and foremost citizens of Heaven. While we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, we need to remember that this is not our ultimate home. Our hope lies in Christ and the work that was accomplished for us on the cross. While we enjoy freedoms here that bililons in the world only dream about (with the exception of carrying lip gloss with us on an airplane) our true home is in Heaven.