Friday, September 9, 2011

I Was a Junior

Seems like every generation will get their opportunity to have a ' where were you' day in history.

For me, well, I was a Junior in High School, I was 16 years old, and I had just finished my first hour P.E. class.  (Who has P.E. first hour?  Apparently I do, bleh.)

While waiting for the tone (we didn't have a 'bell' where we came from), one of our P.E. instructors pulled out a TV cart, plugged it in, and flipped through to a local news station.  To be honest, all we really knew, all we really saw at that moment, was a smoking building.  And the tone sounded.  Off to block 2, calculus.

The hallways were abuzz, rumors filling the air about what had actually happened.  Afterall, no one really knew anything at this point, and in our small, mid-American town we were a long way and much removed from New York City.  At first it felt, oddly, as if it wasn't happening to us.  

But as I lugged my calculus book and binder into the AG Classroom for Calc, the television, there, was on as well, a radiating reminder that we were all in this together... and it wasn't getting better.

For the next hour and half we watched panic, terror, heartbreak, fear.  What was next?

As the day progressed, we walked around in our own fog... taps being played in the hallway, a tv set up outside the school office so we could watch the events unfold as we meandered from one class to the next. 

And as the days went on we probably heard a few too many cheesy country patriotic songs, and we spent a lot of time in silent moments to remember the fallen and the brave.  We put red, white and blue ribbons all over our vehicles, and we, for the first time, questioned our safety going on about daily life.

9/11 changed us all.  It won't be often that you'll hear me boast and toot about being an American.  Don't get me wrong.  I, by all means, realize how blessed I am that God has allowed me to live in this country of religious and personal freedoms, but I realize that it is God, not I, who has chosen this, and I may not be arrogant, as He loves and cares for me just as He does any Russian, African, Irish, Mexican, or Iranian.  I do believe, however, that what is intended for evil God can use for good for those who love Him, and I believe that part of how we've been changed is in our strength, in our wisdom, in our innate drive to pull together and protect one another, and to remember those who chose, above all else, to love others more than themselves on that day in our history.

A little bit of red, white and blue from me to you -

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