I still get mad every year when I am reminded of 9-11-01 and what the coward Muslim terrorists did to America. I pray for all those families directly affected by this act of cowardice. If you were alive at that time and live in America you were affected too, maybe not directly by having a family member or friend or someone you know killed or hurt, but you were affected.
Often Reminded – Will NEVER FORGET
I am reminded of this event every time I go through a security line at the airport, which, at that time in my life I was doing rather often. I was working as a consultant, living in Tallahassee and flying to St. Louis every week. I would normally fly up on Monday morning and home on Friday afternoon. I had flown to St. Louis on Monday, 9-10-01, as normal. On that Tuesday just before I walked out the door of my apartment they were reporting a plane had hit the first tower. I heard about the plane hitting the second tower, the Pentagon and Flight 93 later at work. My purpose here is not to recount these events that occurred on 9-11-01. That has been done and, hopefully, will be done in the future so we, and those who follow us, will Never Forget. I do hope this will be taught truthfully and not through the revisionist filter most history is taught today but know that is probably an unrealistic hope in today’s world.
Meanwhile, back at home
Sharin, as normal, was taking care of things on the home front, which included our four kids AND working as a substitute teacher at the time. On Tuesday, 9-11-01 she was substituting in a first grade class at North Florida Christian School. Three of our children were there but Sarah was at Chiles High School which became an issue when a state of emergency was declared in Florida by Governor Jeb Bush after the attacks. Parents were coming to pick up their children but she could not leave to go get Sarah because of her responsibilities at NFCS. She did ultimately get them all home.
As you probably know, all air traffic was grounded that Tuesday and did not resume until Friday. I had decided I was going to go home and flying was how I planned to get there and was able to get a Saturday flight scheduled. My thinking was flying was probably the safest way to travel as the likelihood of another terrorist attack via airlines was very slim. I remember we did have to wait for our flight crew on Saturday because some flight crews were just not showing up, some due to the previous days of canceled flights and some because they did not want to fly again yet. I believe the airlines were giving them that option at the time, understandably. There was plenty of room on the planes as I remember too.
Routine and not so routine
I did get home that Saturday and gave my family great big hugs. Sarah, Amy, Rachel and Thomas were 14, 11, 7 and 5 respectively at the time. We probably went to Sonny’s for supper that night as that was one of our favorite places to eat and, on Saturday night, kids ate free, so that was our normal routine.
It was also our normal routine when getting the kids to bed to have them say their prayers and pray with them and that is where this story gets good for me. While putting Thomas to bed we talked about what had happened that week and if I was scared by it. I told him I was more angry than scared but everyone also had a right to be scared because what just happened four days earlier was unprecedented and scary. I probably used smaller words at the time but he was pretty fluent in the language for a 5 year old. He had started having conversations and coffee, as he called it, with his PawPaw when he was three. He would often surprise and amaze us with some of the “big” words he would use and use them correctly in conversation.
Anyway, he said he had been thinking a lot lately and a lot this week especially about asking Jesus into his heart to be his savior. He knew what sin was and that he had sinned and he needed a savior and he wanted to get this settled. This was not unexpected since he had been in church since he was an infant. We talked a little more and then he prayed and asked Jesus to come into and live in his heart. This was an exciting time for us and I know the angels in heaven were rejoicing too. I told him from that moment on he did not have to worry about where he would spend eternity. He would be spending it with his sisters, parents, grandparents and all others who have made this decision to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers. Our parents and grandparents are all there waiting for us now.
To God Be the Glory
Thomas was the last of our children to make this decision. He IS the youngest so that was really not unexpected either. Our primary goal as parents was to see our children come to know the Lord and then see them walking in the truth. This event fulfilled that first goal for us. That second goal is a daily work in progress for all of us. I am proud all our children are walking the walk usually much better than I do. I learn as much, probably more, from them as they do from me. We knew from that moment on, regardless of when any of us are called home to Heaven, we will all be reunited there one day and that is an amazing truth we all cherish. It was not an accomplishment we achieved but one He achieved and I still thank Him for that every day.
Thomas went forward that Sunday morning to make his profession of faith public. We met with Pastor Ray that afternoon and he was baptized that night. He did not want to wait but wanted to get it done and get it done that day.
9-11-01 – 9-15-01
So, when 9-11 comes around every year I do remember what happened on 9-11-01 and I get mad all over again and pray for all the families whose lives were changed forever that day; but then my thoughts turn to 9-15-01 when Thomas made a decision that would change his life forever and that makes me happy.
Until next time…
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