As a writer, I try to put everything into words. When I come to an emotion, an idea that I can’t explain away or put into words, I don’t know what to do with it. 9/11 is one of those few things.
For the acts of love, bravery, commitment, fear and hate there really are no words that adequately describe them. People died serving their country. People died hating another country. And people died just trying to live in their country.
How another human being can hate a—a presumed stereo-type, a country with a reputation, an envied nation so much that they would give their own lives to be sure to kill and shake the hearts of many in that nation will never be in my understanding. How the “prince” could take pride in devastating the worlds of innocent children I’ll never know. I hope he’s happy.
2,977 people were killed that day. 2,977 souls weren’t expecting to not see the next sunrise. On the date that we will forever know, a Tuesday at 8:46 AM the unthinkable happened. For many, the picture on the television screen will never leave their mind’s eye. For many, the pain that that picture brought will forever be engraved on their hearts. 2,977 mothers lost their son or daughter—and millions wept with them all over the world.
343 fire-fighters died en route of saving those trapped in the terrible repercussions of those hijacked planes. Many of them were off-duty that day, and many died within reach of the person they were working towards. If only we had had more time. If only we had had warning! Would we have listened?
40 people died in the plane they had bought tickets to so that they could go home, so that they could go on vacation, so that they could attend that dreaded business meeting. None of them bought that ticket so that they could stop a terrorist attack. Yet for each and every one of them, that ticket was their ticket to the end of their life. The 40’s cry, “Let’s Roll!” rallied them to fight back, to try to regain control of the plane. Whether the only capable pilots had been terminated prior to this brave attempt at counter offense or not, the people were determined not to fly into any buildings. But each of them knew they weren’t going to see their family’s faces ever on this earth again. None of the 40 ever made it to their desired destination.
Each of the 2,977 lives that are inscribed on the memorials, engraved on the stones, scrolled across the screen, are not just that to an American. Each one of those people represent something. Not individually, but as a whole. That number speaks to us. The numbers 9/11 will never be just an innocent date again. 343 tells of service and duty. And 40 tells of determination, love and loyalty.
When towers fell, when planes rain from the sky, when fire fills the air—we are forever grateful that heroes rise.
I pray we learn from this. But I know this is not the worst to come. I pray we grow as we see—this is (or was) only the beginning of birth-pains. Lord Jesus, come quickly!