17 years ago.
I heard the scariest words ever. Go get your kids, Now! My Dad, a retired school administrator, always said one of the safest places for children was inside a school building. But on September 11, 2001, those words scared me to death.
I was on the phone with my Dad before work when the reports came in about an airplane hitting a building in New York City. What a tragedy, we thought. But, on with our day we went. My three children were in two separate school buildings and I headed into work.
Soon after, both Towers and the Pentagon had been hit by airplanes. When the airplane crashed into the field in Shanksville, that’s when my Dad called me for the second time that day. Shanksville. Less than one hour from us. An open field.
Go get your kids, Now!
I left work and headed to the two schools, crying as I drove. I didn’t know what to tell them, but I knew our lives had changed forever that day. My children knew it too.
When we returned home, my oldest son grabbed the American flag that had been hanging on our porch for Labor Day and put it back up. Down came the pretty flag of colorful leaves. Up went USA. His sharpened sense of patriotism was soon seen all over the nation.
This was also the day I discovered something unsettling about the news media. The words used that day about our President was astounding to me. I had never imagined that journalists could use such derogatory words about our President. On this horrific day of tragedy.
We gathered at our church that evening to pray. To pray for our nation. For the families impacted so violently that day. We prayed for a young Dad in our church who worked for the FBI and was sent immediately to Shanksville. We prayed for the safety of all the volunteers in New York and Washington and the little town of Shanksville. We prayed for the emergency workers and their families. We prayed for the many victims of this horrible and senseless tragedy. We prayed and cried. Together as a Nation.
Together as One Nation Under God.