The freshly sliced bagel had just been inserted into the toaster when my wife, Linda, called me into the bedroom where she was dressing for work. “Look at this,” she said, “a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Tower in New York.” I stood there, watching the small screen of the television as the news reporter babbled on speculatively about what had happened.
As I watched another plane entered the camera’s field of view and crashed into the other tower. I turned to my wife and in a quiet voice said, “that was no accident.” In my innocent naiveté, it was unthinkable, unimaginable, inconceivable that anyone would do such a thing deliberately. In a quick and awful moment, I lost my innocence and would never again be naive about the vulnerability of this nation to attack from those determined to wreak havoc upon it simply because they hate our values and way of life.
The bagel was forgotten and I sat for almost 24 hours transfixed by the unfolding sights and sounds of the human drama being played out before a watching nation even in spite of the speculative nattering of the news people (usually so annoying to me that I cannot watch for more than short periods of time). Alternating between anger, fear, incredulity and grief, I wept and shuddered with emotion as the towers collapsed.
It was a “JFK assassination moment” for me, fundamentally changing the way I viewed my world. It also deepened my emotional appreciation for the truth that God is ultimately in Sovereign control even when evil appears to have the upper hand. Knowing that bedrock truth keeps me from obsessively worrying about “what might be next.” I know that ultimately “right and righteousness will win.”
At times, however, I shake my head while listening and reading about the words and actions of our nation’s leaders and citizens. It sometimes causes me to wonder … “Have they forgotten?”
Where were you? What do you remember?