It makes me wonder how many people died upon impact that day and how many had to suffer before the end? Was there time for some to hit their knees in prayer? Was God's name on their lips as their world was ending and they knew there was no escape? I have heard it said that even atheists look to God in times of great fear and tragedy and surely on that day, in those Twin Towers as the fire burned and the buildings imploded, there were many bargaining, begging and eventually.....hopefully making peace with their Creator.
In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, when people had the time to think, process and start blaming....I did hear God called out by several. How could God allow this to happen? It is a sentiment that has been thrown out on many occasions in the last couple of decades. Whether it is the bombing of a federal building, a school shooting or the taking down of the Twin Towers, some seem to find God to be the one they point the finger at. Why? Do people not realize that God made "man" with the gift of free will? He gives the gift but it is up to man to decide how to use it. It would be like someone giving someone else a car. The giver is being generous and gives the car with the intention of making the person mobile, independent and productive. The giftee has the choice to use that car as it was intended or to drive while drunk, drive and text, drive too fast or to use the car to break the law. Whatever the giftee does with that car though, is not the givers fault. The fault lies squarely with the giftee and the same goes with our free will. God cannot be blamed for man's bad choices....and on the flip side to that is that we can't be quick to blame God for the bad that happens and yet never acknowledge the good...and trust me, the good far outweighs the bad.
Today I think back and remember the disbelief as the news on the car radio broke in and said the first plane had hit the Twin Towers. It was incomprehensible that this wasn't an accident. Someone surely just went badly off course and "accidentally" hit the tower head on. As I waited in the car with the kids, David sleeping in his seat and Z hopping from seat to seat waiting for Grandma, I listened. I thought of the people I knew in New York or close by and said a prayer for their safety. I could hear the stress in the news casters voice as they broke into national news and gave bits and pieces of information as it came in.
When my mother emerged from the salon a look of shock and sadness was in her eyes. She had been watching the news on tv as she got her nails done. She saw first hand the devastation that New York was dealing with and she knew what was starting to sink in all over the country.......our lives would never be the same. You can't unsee the towers collapsing, the injured and dazed people covered in ash and debrit walking through the streets and the newscasters trying to hold their composure as they reported the damage and death. You also can't unhear the sirens, people screaming and the sounds of a country caught off guard and terrorized by a people who wanted not just these people dead, but all Americans. It is a day that will be embedded in American lives forever.
For me, 9/11 brought home yet again, that in the blink of an eye that which we know and count on can be gone. I learned that day that there are people in this world that have taken their free will and used it for hate, destruction and death and my country and my people seem to have a target on their back. Never again will I feel completely safe in my bed. Never again will I completely trust my government and never again will I have the naivety that as Americans we are untouchable. Since that day, I do spend a lot of time wondering what this world will be like for my kids? Will they someday have to worry about their own safety and the safety of their families? Will peace just be a word with no meaning and will their rights and freedoms be nothing more than an old discarded piece of paper? I hope not and for them, my country and it's leaders.....I pray.....a lot!