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I Must Never Forget

September 8, 2011

“Never Forget!”  Those words became the American cry ten years ago; and when I hear them, my throat still tightens in a peculiar ache.   Even now, my eyes fill when I think of those who died in the initial attacks and of the men and women who have given their lives to fight for freedom.  

In my lifetime, no other event has evoked so much emotion – pride, sorrow, hate, fear, anger, and nostalgia.  We long for things to be the way they were but know they will never be the same. 

The events of that day are seared into our memories, and each of us has a story to tell about where we were when we heard the news.

 My story is not remarkable.    I turned the television on around 6:15 in the morning on that awful day.  I wanted to catch a few minutes of news before dashing out the door to work.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see what I saw. I flipped from channel to channel, but they all showed the same thing.  Like watching a horror movie, I stood rooted to the spot, aghast at what I was witnessing.  As a west coaster, the events of the day were well under way by the time I crawled out of bed, and the second tower had been hit just minutes earlier.

In a state of numbness, I left for work.  Mechanically I backed the car out of the garage and traveled several miles before the enormity of what I’d seen hit me.  Unable to bear it on my own, I called my mom and woke her.

“They’ve just flown planes into the Twin Towers,” I said in a choked voice.

 “Who?  What?”   I heard her confused voice answer me.

“Turn on the tv mom,” I whispered into the phone.

She tried to comfort me, but we both knew our world had changed forever.

In the following days and weeks, my heart swelled with patriotic pride as people came together to fly flags, wave signs, and gather in churches to pray.  Emotions I didn’t know how to describe plagued me too.  I had seen horrible pictures – pictures of people plummeting to their deaths from the towers.  Those photos would haunt me.  I wished I had not seen them – that I could somehow erase them from my mind, but I could not.  Every time I thought of those people, I imagined them making the decision to jump to their deaths rather than realize the agony of burning alive in the building.  I knew many of those people had probably fled from one fire only to enter another – an eternal fire, and this was the thought that tortured me.

In the coming weeks and months, I did not care what people thought of me.  I asked an elderly man next to me on an airplane if he was afraid.  When he admitted that he was, I shared the gospel with him.  I gave him a tract and watched him read it.  I will NEVER forget, I told myself.  I will remember that people all around me are dying and going to hell.  But sadly, time helped me to stop thinking so often and urgently about the people around me who are dying.  What had stirred so deeply in my heart had grown less critical.

On the anniversary of this despicable act of terror committed against our country, I remind myself of a promise made ten years ago, I will never forget that people around me are every moment entering into a Christless eternity. 

II Peter 3:9 “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and you want to know how you can take this important step, please visit my website and click on the “Knowing God” tab.  If you would like to talk further about this important decision, please use the “Contact” tab on the website to send me a message.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2011 9:00 pm

    I just saw an artist’s rendition of 9-11 that broke my heart.

    Yes, we never can or will forget. I love how you used the grief to bring the Gospel forward.

    • September 8, 2011 9:20 pm

      Mindy, thank you for sharing that. My heart dropped when I saw the picture.

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