In retrospect, this past Monday dawned much like that day in 2001. The sun shone brilliantly; the sky overhead was clear; the air had taken on the first scent of fall.
And life was moving at its usual frenetic pace.
Everything – every single thing – changed at precisely 8:46 a.m. ET when a group of hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crashed that plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing all 92 people on board as the airliner bore its way into floors 93-99 of the building.
Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., another group of hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing 65 people onboard as well as hundreds in the building.
President George W. Bush, his Cabinet and the United States Armed Forces coordinated emergency response and security measures. First responders by the hundreds were called into action in New York City.
The nation reeled.
Thirty-four minutes passed. At 9:37 a.m. another attack of U.S. citizens occurred on American soil when hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing all 59 aboard the plane as well as 125 military and civilian personnel on the ground.
Just before 10 a.m. the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, with an unknown number of office workers, visitors and rescuers trapped inside a horrific tomb.
Seven minutes after the collapse of the South Tower, passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93 – the fourth hijacked airline – heroically attempted to take control of the plane from the terrorists. Moments later that aircraft, with 10:07 am – 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crashed the plane with 44 onboard into a field near Shanksville, PA.
Nineteen minutes later, at 10:28 a.m., the World Trade Center’s North Tower collapsed. And at 5:20 p.m. the 47-story Seven World Trade Center collapsed.
Throughout the day, as images came out of New York and Washington and Pennsylvania, the world took a collective gut punch.
The face of evil was unmasked for all to see.
America lost nearly 3,000 people in those first hours and days and many, many more in the weeks and years that followed.
But far more importantly that recognizing evil, we were shown the face of the American hero, the American patriot. THE real America stood tall for a terrified world to see.
And the resolve of our nation was palpable. American pride woke up, and American decency kicked in. For a time we were, as a country, nice to each other. We cared about our neighbors. We cried. We hugged. We prayed.
This week, as we look back on the events of that day 22 years ago, let’s take a deep and life-sustaining breath. Let’s take more than a passing moment to reflect; let’s – let us, Dear God – relive those moments of a real, country-loving, nation-building, God-fearing awakening again.
2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Oh, God, please bless America.|
Featured image and images below were taken from Instagram posts remembering 9-11. Click the images below to enlarge.