I know that’s not how it goes, but every time I hear “Remember…” I immediately think “Remember remember the (insert date/event) of (or other appropriate preposition) (insert month).” As in when Andrew says, “Hey, remember when we went to Ireland together?” and I immediately convert his question into: “Remember remember the trip last November.” (I must warn you, however, this game is much less fun if the month doesn’t end in -ember.)
Well, as I read in another blog, everyone has a story about where they were ten years ago and the vomitous outpouring of sentimental memory-slogging can become tedious. If you’re at all like me then after a while of listening to the gushing we become calloused to it, it starts to roll off of us without impacting like it should. But I’ve been watching the re-plays of the 9/11 tragedy on the news and it has made me properly ashamed. As I should be.
Every tragedy people endure deserves to be remembered and honored, and today it is appropriate to respect the tragedy that happened to the American community. It’s a community that I am part of, and I want to support the people in my community who have suffered. I’m watching the coverage of the memorial service and reading several touching stories honoring brave lives, and it is beautiful to see the American people coming together, putting aside party differences for one day to acknowledge each other’s pain.
So here’s my story:
My twelve-year-old self was getting dressed and ready for school when my mom came in and told me we weren’t going to school today. This was great news to me, but my mom seemed distracted and confused about something. “Why?” I asked. “Um… I don’t know. There’s smoke coming out of the Pentagon,” she said and left. I stood there thinking: “What’s the Pentagon?”
At the time my mom worked at our church, so she took me and my 9-yr-old sister to the church with her. My parents had decided we shouldn’t be at school just in case LA was attacked and for some reason they couldn’t get to us. So at church we sat in the conference room and watched the attacks over and over again on TV. I remember the phones were ringing all day and my mom and our pastor were busy talking to people and praying. I remember throughout the day many came to the church to pray for everyone who was trapped inside the buildings, who had lost someone dear, and who were simply confused like us.
That’s my story. It’s nothing compared to thousands of others’, but I’d like you to know that I’m remembering in honor of the pain of that day, and I’m still praying for those whose lives were irrevocably damaged ten years ago.