today is the ninth anniversary of the most horrible attack against americans on our soil. it's the anniversary of pottery and willow. and there is no doubt that the heinous act our world witnessed on that beautiful tuesday morning has irrevocably changed our world forever. i know that on that morning all those years ago my world changed forever.
i imagine it's much like those who survived a major illness or a tragic accident or a war. when i think back on things that have happened in my life there is now a "before" and an "after". and for me, no matter how wonderful a thing is that's happened since 9/11, in the after, it's never as wonderful as it would have been if it had happened before.
for a long time i struggled to grasp the enormity of the tragedy - to fully comprehend that what i witnessed when i stepped out of my shower on that fateful day was NOT a hollywood special effect. to understand that my tears were for real people: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles from all religions, all colors and all walks of life. it was a tragedy that BEFORE i could never have imagined and now, after, i can never forget.
the pictures of the planes hitting the towers are strangely absent from the images being presented on television by the mainstream media. they claim the images are inflammatory against those who practice islam. but they're wrong. we need the images - not only so that we who were old enough to truly bear witness to the horror committed remember, and not only so that those who weren't alive can witness it for themselves so that they understand how awful it was for our country and the world, but also to remind those who did this to us that we remember WHAT they did and WHO they are.
with each passing year the accute pain that i experienced on that fateful morning diminishes just a little bit. but my soul is still frayed and my heart is still broken - as it will always be. and although i'm unable to say HOW the world would have been different had those men not boarded those four planes and crashed into the world trade center towers, or the pentagon or that isolated pennsylvania field, i know that it would be.
and while the attack of 11 september 2001 isn't still a raw, open wound, i am still tempted to fear what the future holds. but i fight that fear each morning i wake to face the day. i take comfort in the fact that i have my children and my granddaughter and both my parents and my sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles - all of whom love me and i love deeply in return. i take heart in the friendships - old and new - christians, jews and muslims - and the uprising of patriots and conservatives around the globe.
i have faith in the greater good that leads us forward to our future. i know that we emerged from this national - no, global tragedy - stronger than we had ever been. and even though we have recently faultered in our knowledge of our role in the world, i know that individually (and as a country) there are even greater things in store for us than we could possibly know at this point.
jeremiah 29:11 promises us that god knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us; plans to give us hope and a future. i trust in that scripture. we also know through several scriptures that god either orchestrates or allows all things to happen to best glorify him. i don't pretend to understand what god intends, i only know that although it was - and still is personal - i trust that god is in control.
i'm still crying, but through my tears i see a time when i - and we - will surmount our pain and fears. i see a time when others will join us in our steadfast resolve to rid the world of those who mean all who do not believe as they do harm. i see a time when we will stop apologizing for our strengths and fortunes and use those strengths and fortunes, once again, for true good.
yes, it's still personal - but maybe, just maybe, i see a light at the end of the tunnel. do you see it too?