I will never forget where I was 11 years ago. I was preaching a revival in the Dallas, Texas area and Vickie and I were staying with friends. They woke us up to tell us that a plane had flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The news was on every channel and as we sat watching television, we saw the second plane crash into the South Tower. Awhile later, another plane crashed into the Pentagon and finally, a forth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
Destruction, death, chaos and fear were dropped in our lap that morning. Innocence was lost and evil rose up in all its ugliness. As details became clearer, we learned that terrorists had led the attacks. This day would change the future of America forever.
We sat glued to the television all day. The scenes were horrifying. I will never forget the images of people jumping to their deaths out of the burning buildings. Watching policemen, firemen, paramedics and emergency response workers go running into those buildings to save lives…most never made it out and perished, making the ultimate sacrifice.
Almost 3000 people lost their lives as a result of the attacks on 9-11. Husbands, wives, sons, daughters, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, friends…people who got up and went to work like any normal day. Only 9-11-2001 was not a normal day.
I was in New York with my son Jeremiah 6 months after the attacks in March, 2002 for his 16th birthday. We were given a tour of the site where smoke was still rising and debris was piled up all around. At one point, we were escorted to the side as the bodies of several firemen were recovered from the debris. It was sobering and it was heart wrenching. I will never forget that moment.
There were positive things that happened as a result of 9-11 too. We were exposed to multitudes of heroes as I mentioned earlier. People were united through this tragedy, it brought our country together in a new and stronger bond. Republicans and Democrats worked together. Our nation was hit but we rose up and came together like never before. I remember feeling such pride watching the American flag flying on more homes and businesses than I had ever seen. People did what they could to help others and the rest of the country rallied around New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
9-11 did change us. It was a powerful reminder that there is wickedness, there is evil and we must be on guard. It was also a powerful reminder that we live in a country where people come together when needed. Brother stands with brother, we rally and we rise up!
I will never forget 9-11-01…the thousands who lost their lives – many innocent people who just got up and went to work that morning. Others who made the choice to run into a burning building and give their own lives to save others. That day changed us all…I will never forget.