Thursday, September 11, 2008
I Will Never Forget
Seven years ago today I came very close to leaving for NYC following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Ironically enough, as a firefighter/EMT, I was responding to a call in my own community from work at home when my assistant chief told me that a plane had flown into the first WTC building. We had no idea what was going on at that time and just thought it was an accident. Our call was cancelled and we started watching the news coverage of the event as it unfolded. I returned home in time to see the second plane collide with the second tower. I watched as flames and smoke bellowed out of the giant structures and as emergency teams responded to the scene thinking, "Ok, this is big, but FDNY is trained for stuff like this and, they'll get a handle on it, it's just going to take some time." As I watched the situation unfold and the commentary by the media speculating as to what had just happened, the first tower collapsed. My mind just could not process what just happened. Then, a while later, the second tower collapsed. Again, I could not believe what I was seeing and just wept knowing that there were a lot of civilians in those buildings and firefighters and others coming to help. I was so moved by what I was seeing, I emotionally considered driving out there at that moment to do anything, whatever I could, to help. When I was able to think rationally, I knew that I would just be adding to the problems if I, and so many others in the country that were likely feeling the same way, were to act on those feelings. I stayed at home, prayed, and wept, like most of the rest of the country, and hugged and kissed my wife and daughters when they got home thanking God for His provision of our safety. I see jet airplanes in a different light now and, as much as I pray about it and try to be forgiving, I know in the deep recess of my heart, I have a disdain for a radical culture of people that were at the heart of the evil actions of that day. May He work through this black spot on my heart. I pray the Lord gives comfort and peace to the families of all 2,974 victims in the attacks that day, 343 of which were firefighters, including one chaplain. May God rest their souls and continue to bring healing to the hearts of our country, mine included. I will never forget.