Remembering September 11 & The Unifying Impact
We all have moments in our life when we remember the exact time and place when a big event in our life took place. A few that stand out for me are when I asked my wife to marry me, when I found out my wife was pregnant with our first son, giving my life to Jesus, Tiger Woods winning The Masters in 2019, and of course, the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In each, there was also an outcome that came from the memory. All these memories and impactful moments were followed by different results – some positive and beautiful and others painful and sad.
As we find ourselves once again in the month of September, I want to focus on the memory of the attacks on 9/11. It’s incredible to believe that it’s been 19 years since that fateful day. Still, I remember the day like it was yesterday. At the time, I was only nine years old and still in elementary school. On the day before September 11th, I had traveled on a school field trip to the Baltimore Science Center. It was a magical place, and I remember thinking it was one of the coolest places I had ever visited.
The following day, September 11, was spent at home. During my elementary school years, I was homeschooled so my home is where I learned about the attacks on our country. In my house, we had a room called the “school room” where we did all of our schooling each day. This is precisely where I found myself the day my aunt called our home phone to share news that would forever change my life, the lives of all Americans, and the lives of every person on the planet both then and forever.
My mother was out of the house that morning for some reason so we didn’t pick up the ringing phone. After the answering machine picked up, I remember hearing my aunt asking my mom to see if she had seen the news about some building blowing up. I could tell from the tone in her voice that something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what building she was talking about. At the time, I thought the building she was talking about was the Baltimore Science Center since we had just been there the prior day.
A little while later, my mother returned home and turned on the news. I remember seeing the flames and smoke billowing from the twin towers and seeing the terrible destruction happening in our country. The next thing I heard was that the Pentagon had been hit as well, and because our home was only 45 minutes from DC, we weren’t allowed to leave the house for the rest of the day.
The devastation from that day was far reaching, impacting every American and the world in some way. After the towers fell and the rubble was lifted, the outcome was far from a defeated American society. It was actually the opposite. Our country came together like never before, putting away differences like politics and agendas in an effort to show our unified strength against a foreign enemy. What I remember most about those days were the American flags on peoples cars, the singing of the country song “God Bless the USA,” and how for a moment it didn’t matter your beliefs or your political stance because during those days we were one country united together.
While it’s been only 19 years since those historical times, it seems like our country is more divided now than ever and that many have forgotten what a unified country looks like. For some who were born after 9/11, they don’t even know what those days were like – that’s crazy to imagine.
Our prayer at Berry Financial has and always will be healing for our great country and that during times of division, times of hatred and immorality, our nation would look to God and remember this verse from the book of 2 Chronicles,“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14