Sept. 11, 2001. A woman drives down a Pennsylvania road to get to a Bible study at a friend’s church. Her baby boy, who turns one in just a few days, sleeps in the backseat of the car. She can’t believe it’s been almost a year since he came into this world.
She arrives at the church. She walks up to the front door and is greeted by some of the other members. They seem to have worried looks on their faces, and she wonders why, but finds out with the first words that come out of their mouths: “We’re under attack.”
The news utterly shocks her, but her son is still asleep, blissfully unaware of the horror that’s happened.
That baby boy is me. It’s been twenty years since that event happened.
Like most of my friends, I was too young to remember the incident, but the stories I’ve heard from the adults that lived through it are hard to forget. Some were planning on flying that day, but by God’s grace they didn’t get on any flights.
Despite never having my own personal memory of that day, I do have strong personal feelings about it.
The fact it came just a few days before my first birthday contributes to those feelings, but not in a “You ruined my special day” kind of way. More like a “You also have a big day this week.”
Perhaps comparing it to a birthday is in poor taste. Hundreds of people died on that day, and many more have died in the war that followed. That war ended not too long ago as well, although it objectively could have gone better than it did. Sadly, the damage has been done.
The families of loved ones lost on this day must still be mourning over what happened. Honestly, I would be too.
The attacks were unusual and could not have been predicted. The fact that four planes were hijacked is still crazy to me.
Even though there was such tragedy on that day, something amazing came out of it: unity. R.C. Sproul mentioned this in his book, “When Worlds Collide,” which was published just a year later. And yet, good things don’t last forever, and the unity we had over this shared experience quickly went away.
Perhaps some day we’ll find that unity again. Hopefully, it won’t take another 9/11 to do that. Regardless, we must remember the lives of those men and women who were taken away that fateful day.