I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you?

Never forget. 

My mom can remember the details of where she was when President Kennedy was assassinated. I remember being in 7th period study hall during my junior year when we heard about the space shuttle Columbia tragedy.

On September 11, 2001, we were giddy with excitement--okay, can't say I've ever seen Hubby giddy with excitement--to board the shuttle bus from our resort at Walt Disney World to take us into Magic Kingdom. We spent a couple of hours getting wet on Splash Mountain, going on the Jungle Cruise, and seeing the Country Bears. Suddenly, attractions were closing, and people were being herded (best term for it) to the main entrance. Rumors were being repeated, almost like a game of Telephone. Snippets of Twin Cities, or was it Twin Towers, planes, bombings spread through the massive numbers of people. We returned to our resorts and were told we could not leave them. Once we got into our room, we turned on the TV and cried as we watched the travesty being brought against our nation. 

Hubby, who is a former Marine, was stationed in Quantico, VA for three years. He spent a lot of time in D.C. and knew exactly where those planes had hit. Our families panicked when they couldn't get ahold of us by phone because they had heard the major US resort areas were going to be hit too. When I talked to my sister, we cried together. 

Heroes died that day. Unsung heroes who were nameless faces in the crowds. Heroes who battled flames, treated the wounded, and prayed over the desperate. Heroes who sacrificed their lives so others could live. Heroes who became Jesus in the flesh. 

Our country changed that day. Prayer for the brokenhearted drew people closer together and closer to God. We can't afford to forget September 11, 2001, because we can't afford to take our days for granted. God gives us a precious gift called the present. We need to make the most of every day and make sure our loved ones know how much they mean to us because we don't know what tomorrow brings. 

I'm so thankful I live in a nation that honors freedom of worship. I'm so thankful for the service men and women who fight at home and abroad for our nation's freedoms. I'm so thankful for their families who support them when they can't be together. I'm so thankful for the everyday heroes who put their lives on the line to save others. I'm so thankful for those medical heroes who work tirelessly to minister to the sick and wounded. I'm so thankful for those heroes that go unnoticed like our educators. 

Let us join together as One Nation Under God and never forget.
Where were you when you heard the news? How has this tragedy strengthened your faith?

Lisa Jordan


  1. The morning of 9/11, I was driving my children to school. My daughter Amy was surfing the radio channels when I heard, "We'll keep you updated on this developing situation"--or something like that. I put my hand over her's and told her to stop--we needed to listen to what was being said. We drove the rest of the way to school in silence.
    I went home and turned on the TV and tried to make sense of it all. My husband was still in the Air Force at that time, and he was stationed in WY, while we lived in CO. I didn't know how, but I'd knew it would affect our family.
    Knowing that rumors would be flying at school, I drove back to pick up my daughters. I had to get past a gauntlet of security, having to show my I.D. to people who'd known me for years. My son, who was away at college, called and asked, "Mom, what is going on?" I wished I could explain it to him.
    Then I got a call from close friends who had been flying from Nevada to someplace overseas when the planes struck the Towers. Their plane was diverted to Denver International Airport. They asked if I could come pick them up. The airport was locked down, but I told them if they could get a taxi out, I would come find them somewhere south of Denver. Their family of four stayed with us for two weeks because of plane travel being shut down after 9/11.
    One other memory from 9/11: Watching TV for hours and waiting for news of survivors . . . and waiting . . . and waiting. And then realizing that there were so few survivors. Trying to grasp the enormity of the tragedy.

  2. I was already at work, as a nanny, getting the oldest ready for pre-school. The Mom was in Atlanta. She called and asked if I had heard what was going on. I was thankful that Nick Jr kept their programming with only scroled updates. I was able to surf the silent web while the kids watched an unprecedented amount of morning TV. The mom and I debated whether to send the oldest to school. But since I could walk to his school, it was decided to keep things "normal." Since the three tallest buildings near her in Atlant were the Georgia Capitol, the CNN tower and the CDC, she was evacuating the city and heading back to Nashville. I remember putting shoes on the 2 year old. When one didn't fit, I actually sat there for five minutes wondering why I never noticed he had two left shoes. It took me that long to figure out I had out the first shoe on the wrong foot.

  3. The morning of September 11, 2001, dawned bright and clear, as fall mornings usually do in northeastern Ohio. I went to work thinking what a glorious day it was. Sitting at my computer pumping out lines of programming code, I heard bits and pieces of conversations as fellow employees passed by my door.

    Plane crash, twin towers, Washington D.C., New York.

    A friend stopped in and we surfed the net together trying to find some answers, but even that was close to impossible, because everyone was doing that. Web pages that normally took nanoseconds to load, now took several minutes. Some couldn’t load at all due to the huge volume of requests put on their servers.

    The sudden feeling of dread came over me when I got the news. I was 40 miles from home, my husband was at home relaying messages to me as to what was happening, and my kids were scattered about in their different schools. I just wanted to get home, and pull my family close. Hold them for a few extra seconds.
    My husband explained to me the horror of the crash in New York, followed by the one in D.C. News filtered into work from other family members relaying facts to fellow employees. Finally our bosses gave us the all clear to go home if we wanted to, so I did. Then I found out the one item my husband didn’t tell me. The last plane, the one that landed in the field in PA, flew right over our house.

    I got home as did my kids – safe and sound. My family was together, but my heart broke for those families who sent their loved ones off to work that beautiful fall day, never expecting they would never see them again.

  4. I was in college, starting a brand new semester as a sophomore. I'd sent my mom my class schedule, because my younger brothers had homeschool science classes nearby, and sometimes she would call and stop by with food or clean laundry (yes, my mother was the envy of my townhouse). I'd told her Tuesday mornings were off limits, it was the only day I didn't have science lab before the sun rose.

    When the phone rang that morning, I remember being irritated, knowing it was her. My roommate groaned and covered her head with her pillow. I considered not climbing down from my loft bed to even answer. How important could it be? But then you second guess yourself. My mom doesn't forget things, she wouldn't call when I asked her not to. Unless it was important.

    I got down and the first thing she said was, "I know you told me not to call on Tuesdays...but you need to turn on your tv." My heart started pumping and I pinged questions at her, but she just waited until I saw.

    I remember thinking at that moment, everyone remembers what they were doing when President Kennedy was shot. This is the Kennedy for my generation. My roommates and I sat around the tv and watched, and prayed.

    My microbiology professor didn't cancel his lab that day, and I was angry at him for it. Who cared where E. Coli lived when our neighbors were suffering?

    After the fall, I remember thinking, why didn't they evacuate faster? I was, I don't even know the verb, that more people didn't get out. It took so long for me to realize with the enormity of such a tall building, with the stairways so full of injured people winding their way up and down, it would have taken hours for people to get down from the uppermost floors. Some couldn't, even if they had tried. That broke my heart.

    We must never forget. And never forget to pray for the people who defend our country on a daily basis, away from their families.

  5. I was at home since we home schooled our kiddos. I'll never forget the horror, the anguish, the weeping for America.

    I still remember the comfort President Bush gave us in the hours and days that followed. How tears flowed when he quoted Psalm 23. How more flowed when he visited Ground Zero with the bull horn. I remember how England played our National Anthem in front of Buckingham Palace. How men from Dallas drove all night to Washington to take something needed for skin grafts since all the flights were closed.

    Sometimes I go to YouTube and watch video clips of that day because I think it's important to never forget.

    May God bless America and bless our brave men and women in the military who risk their lives to preserve our liberties.

  6. A moving post, Lisa. After I read it, I sat here for 30 minutes remembering, crying, mourning those who died or were injured and our loss of innocence that day. I was in a Precept class when I found out. We stopped and prayed. I was in such shock I didn't know how to pray, but I knew God would bring something good from the ashes of those buildings. And He did. Men and women of courage stepped forward, some giving their lives to save others...churches filled with people praying...a renewed spirit within America...
    No, we can't afford to forget that day.

  7. Lisa, Thanks for your moving post.

    I agree. We can't afford to forget or become complaisant. I'm thankful to all who've served and who are now serving in the military. May they be blessed, protected, appreciated, and respected.

  8. I was in college. A student from a different country heard the news first. He told the class I was in that a plane had run into the World Trade Center. I pictured a little two-seater plane, wondered how it could not see the huge building. I thought it was kind of a funny mental picture--this little lost plane, knicking its wing or something on this huge building.

    The foreign kid looked at me like I was crazy.

    Then I heard the news. Then I watched it. And watched it. And watched it some more.

    Amy, we still had class, too, and I felt the same way you did.

    It's not something you ever forget. It's the lessons we all learned--to make every moment count, to call out to God as a nation, etc.--that we need reminded of.

  9. We lived in Nevada at the time. My husband had already left for work, and I had turned the news on to watch as I prepared for our first ladies Bible study that fall. It took a few minutes for the scene in front of me to register. How had an airliner managed to fly into a building as tall as the WTC? I sat, watching, in paralyzed numbness as the enormity of it sank in. Then, I watched as the second plane flew into the other tallest building in the WTC, unbelieving. At that point, I knew for certain that it was no accident (which I had been hoping it was). To watch the Towers crumble and the dust cloud speed into the streets, and to realize the amount of lives lost overwhelmed me.
    I prayed on my way to Study that day, and increased them when I heard about the plane crashing in Pennsylvania. Everyone was subdued through out that day, and little else was spoken of.
    I talked with my husband, who was still active duty. Somehow, we both knew war would follow. When I asked him if he would go if he was "called to" or if he could, his answer was a resounding yes. As much as the possibility scared me, a deep pride filled my heart at his answer.
    Though it's now officially nine years in the past, I pray that we, as a nation, never forget what happened on 9-1-1.

  10. It was a Tuesday morning and I was in a BSF leaders' meeting in south Florida. We had moved from New York City less than 2 years earlier. My husband and I both worked just blocks away from the WTC for many years (20+) and had been in and out of the WTC towers countless times. As we watched the somber accounts on television, it felt as if we were right there. Those streets were as familiar to us as any home. I also lost 3 friends in the attack - all Christians with whom I had attended church weekly.
    We say we will never forget. My NY friends and family CAN'T forget...even if they wanted to.

  11. Beautiful sensitive job, Lisa. I'm w/ your Mom--remember where & when I was re. Kennedy's death. I was in Toronto finishing univ., felt sad and out of place in a foreign country, though my husband was Cdn. In general, at that time, many Cdns. were anti-Amer. w/ the jealous little brother syndrome. But that day, so many I didn't even know came up to me to say how sorry they were. And U.S. flags appeared from nowhere, hanging from apt. windows, nooks and crannies, a salute and expression of solidarity. I will never forget that.

    9/11 nine years ago I was in basement in hospital elevator hurrying through tasks when I overheard that a plane had hit a tower. I rushed to my Chris. mgr. who (again) had his radio on something like Rush Limbaugh. I told him and he said, "now it's 2 towers," and we all knew. People forgot protocol and gathered in the employee "break" room where there was a TV. It was hard to concentrate the rest of the day. We were on some kind of alert to help people in case trouble hit our city. Again there was tenderness and solidarity, spoken and unspoken. We will not forget.