Thursday, September 09, 2010

In Memoriam of 9/11

You will need video playback capabilities for full comprehension of this post.  Facebook users please click over to Clouds in My Coffee main page.

The following three posts contain video and language concerning September 11th that could be considered inappropriate for younger or sensitive readers. 

Its been 9 years now, and I haven't heard much about September 11th this year, save for the usual "Inside 9/11!" and "World Trade: Why It Fell" kind of shows on History and Discovery Channels and such, and the "Why Is bin Laden Still Alive" program that is coming on next week.   There might be some dedications this Saturday, on September 11th, but being a football day, I'm not sure how many you'll see--don't worry, though, the tenth anniversary will come in 2011, and you'll be inundated with programs and documentaries and the like. 

And then, in 2012, 11 years after the attack, it will fade again.  But not for me... every year about this time, I get a little sentimental.  Perhaps its that I remember it so vividly, perhaps its that I was so captivated, broken hearted and involved in the event, perhaps its just that it happened when I was aware...

And what I mean by that is, when Tiananmen Square happened, I was like, 13.  When the Berlin Wall came down, I was 14.  When the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal broke, I was about 20.  I was self-involved, I was unaware of most things, I was not hip to the world news.

At 26, I was aware.  Still self-involved (that will never change), but a lot more wise to the news of the world.  And I, like you, will never forget it.  So, once per year, I get serious, and do all I can to make sure that you never forget it...

Some months after 9/11/01, HBO released a documentary called "In Memoriam".  When I saw it, I was blown away.  No narrator, it only involves some interviews, many with then-Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and is entirely made of footage taken from over 100 New Yorkers and people with cameras.

I will warn you... this is real footage.  There is some language, and though its not graphic, there are disturbing scenes.  Just the same, when Campbell Isaiah and Lorelei Addison are old enough, they'll watch it, and I'll do my best to help them understand, so they'll know what September 11th means, or at least should mean, to this country.

So, I invite you to watch HBO's In Memoriam, piece by piece, each about 10 minutes long, broken up over 3 posts, each separated by a few quotes and some contributions from a couple of friends of mine.  Here it is, part by part, each part about 10 minutes long. 

In Memoriam Part I

"A mother described to me talking to her son on the telephone when the second plane it.  And that's the last time she talked to him.  Another family described to me how their loved one had let two elevators go, because he was older. And people in the elevator were younger..."

In Memoriam Part II

"We couldn't get to the top of the roof...  I looked over and saw a partially obscured face peering out of the smoke.  He was waving a white towel and... there was nothing we could do"

In Memoriam Part III

When the building came down, I just felt a complete disconnection in my heart.  It was like everything was just ripped out of my chest.  I thought that Terry had just incinerated.  I was grabbing the dust from the ground, thinking that he was in the dust."

Sez Amy Harris, fellow churchgoer at Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship).. I was just following my normal morning routine. Kate was ready for preschool and watching Arthur in the den. I went to the bedroom to walk on the treadmill and watch Joan & Charlie welcome in our day. There was a breaking newsflash that the World Trade Center was on fire… no, not just a fire, an airplane was believed to have flown into it. What on earth? I kept walking and watching. For a news junkie, this was a major event and I was enthralled. But within moments, my mind could not completely comprehend what I saw as what looked like a commercial jet flew into the second tower. I knew it was no accident. War. I stopped walking.

I stood in front of the TV glued for more details. The President spoke of a terrorist attack. I wasn’t sure what to do. It was time to take Kate to preschool. Do you take your child to preschool in the midst of a terrorist attack? I didn’t know what to do but something inside me just felt like I needed to make things as normal as possible for her. So off she went into safe loving hands for a few hours to play with her friends. I was shocked at what an absolutely beautiful bluebird day it was outside yet pure terror was occurring on American soil….what irony.

As soon as I got home, the news showed reports of the Pentagon being hit. I was worried because we had family that lived close by. Then the reports that the south tower had collapsed and now a flight was missing in midair…. what was going on? This was crazy! My mind could not begin to comprehend it all. And then I saw the live steam of the north tower as it collapsed into ashes and tears began to roll down my cheeks. I walked a few paces and literally fell to my knees.

The next thing that happened was something I will never forget. I began to pray these words, “Praise you Jesus, Praise you Jesus. I praise you because you are a God of order and this is not the work of your hands. I know that you will use this somehow someway for good. Praise you Jesus that I serve a God of order not a God a chaos and I know that even now you are in control"  When I opened my eyes I had no idea where that came from. It seemed completely inappropriate for me yet just like something God might do. A sense of peace came over me.

What started as Good Morning America had turned to a mourning America. I literally watched TV for days as people looked for their loved ones, NYC’s finest ash covered bold heroes sobbed like babies and people all over the country told their stories. Yet amongst the rubble of the collapsed towers stood a cross… steel beams that once supported towers built by human hands now stood to support a people in need of Hope.

Nine years gone by and I wonder where are all the people who flooded the churches in September of 2001? What has happened to all those who were on their knees in prayer? I celebrate that a faithful God never left America during this tragedy, but I mourn that America is no longer said to be a Christian country. I mourn for the America of September 2010… and yet I still rejoice... inappropriate as that may seem.

Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess 5:16-18

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