A letter to my sons….
Dear Isaac & Jeremiah,
It’s late and you are in bed sound asleep, unaware that tomorrow is the one day on the calendar that makes it hard to breathe.
Maybe one midnight the calendar will turn to September 11, and I won’t feel sickening grief in the pit of my stomach…. but not tonight.
One day I will have to tell you about September 11, the day the world changed and the sky actually did start falling. It is hard for me to believe sometimes that your world is so different from the one I grew up in. I hope that I have the right words to tell you when I have to explain it all for you.
It is hard to explain something that you just don’t understand yourself…
There have been very few events in my life that I can remember every detail of, like they were just yesterday. September 11 is one of those events.
One day I will tell you about hearing of the attacks, disbelief over what had happened, and watching in horror as the desperate jumped and the towers fell. It was absolutely devastating, tears fall even now, as I think about the lives that were lost that day.
I don’t know how I will find the words to tell you.
It was the day evil seemed the triumph. The sky was darkened, the dust from the towers hid the sun’s light. There were no survivors for the volunteer doctors and nurses to help. In the days that followed, the photos and endless lists of the missing or dead were too much to bear. I scanned the ages, even children, and felt overwhelming anger that this had happened.
They were just ordinary people, going to work, riding on planes, doing things I have done a million times. How have I done them a million times and still lived to tell?
… and why didn’t they?
Where was God when the planes hit? When the towers fell? When evil triumphed and rejoiced in victory over the destruction?
Sweet boys, when I talk to you about the day that changed the world, I will look you in the eyes and tell you with no uncertainty, that God works all things for good, even the things we don’t understand.
I still don’t understand.
I will always teach you to honor the flag, a constant reminder of that day — red like the blazing fire in the towers, white from the dust lasting so long afterward, and blue for the endless river of tears. We will stand together to honor those lost, to protect our country, and to always, always, always find hope.
The evil from September 11 will always be remembered, and really, this day opened my eyes to the hatred that exists in the world. However, as powerful as evil is, love is more powerful than evil.
The towers fell, but faith, hope, and love remain… and the greatest of these is love.
“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” ~ Romans 12:21
September 11, 2001 did change the world, and it still breaks my heart. Thirteen years later, my prayer is that September 11, 2014, will also change the world, but for good. I pray that this will be a day we remember those lost and seek to do good, rather than evil, to pave a path of hope. Today I pray for each family who has lost a loved one, for each child that never met their parent, and for our country, battered and bruised, but the greatest nation in the world. Land that I love…
Please take time today to remember those lost, create a tribute of love, and join the September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance.
*updated post from the archives