Friday, September 11, 2009

Thoughts on 9/11

I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.  I was working as a school counselor at an elementary school, preparing for a difficult parent conference.  My principal knocked on my office door and told me that I needed to go to the library and watch what was happening on the news. 

The librarian had moved the TV out of view of public eye and a few of us gathered around to watch the horror.  I remember the fear that went through my body.  Not necessarily fear for myself, but the fear of the unknown and of being responsible for 500 children DURING the unknown.  I remembered that I was supposed to be the calm one, and I started praying.

Parents soon began to arrive to pick up their children.  I completely understood…while it presented challenges for us, if I had been a parent at that time, I would have wanted my child with me too.  The superintendent released a statement asking school personnel to go about our duties as normal, releasing students to parents if requested. 

Since most teachers were in their classrooms working with kids, they didn’t have the freedom to get information.  Of course word (and panic) got around quickly, and teachers were doing their best to remain calm and not show their students that anything was wrong.  Every time I walked by a classroom, a teacher would signal me and ask what was happening.  I talked one teacher through a panic attack.  I can honestly say that 9/11 was one day in my life that I literally prayed without ceasing.

The images of the two towers falling is one that will stay in my mind until I die (or lose my mind!).  Pictures of the Pentagon and the plane crash wreckage will always haunt me.  Everyone’s life changed that day.  Many experienced deep personal loss while the whole country grieved. 

We will never completely win the war against terrorism until the Lord returns.  In the meantime, many of our men and women are fighting the battle for us to remain safe and protected in our country. 

My brother Jon is leaving for another tour of duty in Afghanistan in a few weeks.  He leaves behind a sweet wife and two beautiful daughters. 

Jon's Family

We are constantly praying for his protection and the safety of his unit.  In reality, we know that as Chief Surgeon he will probably see and experience many horrors.  Not to mention the loneliness that comes with being separated from his family for nine months. 

I hope that today we can all remember the lives that have been lost as well as the folks who are giving their lives to ensure the freedom that we often take for granted.

6 comments:

heresthediehl said...

great post! we'll be praying for your brother, too.

Mimi said...

Thank you for your wonderful post! Your Dad & I could not be more proud of Jon--and like you we pray for him without ceasing--yet knowing he is in God's care. As an added note for anyone reading, please take opportunity to show our servicemen your appreciation. When I'm in airports, etc. and see a serviceman I try to pay for their food or coffee when I can and tell them how I appreciate their service and will pray for them.

Donna A said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Joanna. I am and will continue to pray for Jon and his precious family. Your mom had a great idea re. our service men and expressing your appreciation in a tangible way. My Dad served in both Korea and Vietnam so I understand some of the sacrifices that are made, not only by the servicemen (and women) but also by their families.

jennifer said...

And the year before we had the Wedgewood shooting.....
And the year before that HFS lost two students to a trailer fire....

remember those? Hard days to be a teacher....

Joanna J. said...

Yes, Jennifer. Those were definitely hard days.

Kim H. said...

I will be praying for your brother as well... my cousin went over there for a tour or maybe two right after 9/11... and I'll never forget the feeling of being completely proud but terrified at the same time for what he was about to do.

I have such a great respect for our military. I'm grateful for their courage and strength...and the sacrifices they make - as well as the sacrifices their families make at the same time.