Friday, September 11, 2009

We Shall Never Forget...

I woke up really late this morning. Like I should have already been at my job for 30 minutes in Salt Lake when I woke up. I was up and out the door before I could even think straight. I jumped in my car, turned on the radio, and heard it...

The news reports from September 11, 2001. All of the sudden I wasn't in such a rush any more. Talk about a shift in perspective. I felt dumb I hadn't worn red, white, and blue. Not because that would really make a difference, but because somehow it felt like I cared less than I have in years past. Mostly I chose my outfit today because it was the first thing I saw as I rushed around, but I don't ever want to get complacent about what happened that day and what it meant.

I remember that morning. I came out of my early morning seminary class and got in the car with my mom. She looked really upset and was listening to the radio. She said that one of the World Trade Centers had been hit by an airplane. I don't think I really understood what was going on. Sometimes I think it's weird that my mom had me go to school that day. I felt angry and sad and scared and confused, but mostly just confused. Everyone at school kept talking about it, but none of us really knew what was going on. I remember my world history teacher, Mr. Bornfeld, came into class and turned on the television and said, "There really isn't anything more important I could be teaching you right now." I think it was at that moment that I realized things would be forever changed.

And things did change for a while. But then things seemed to gradually go back to normal-- for most of us at least. I'm sure that families who lost loved ones would disagree.

But I don't know that getting back to normal is such a bad thing. I don't think we should live our lives in constant fear or sadness. I have great sympathy for all of those who lost their lives in such an unnecessary way, but I think events like that should help us remember to focus on the good things every day and to count our blessings. I am so grateful for our country and for our freedom. It's an amazing gift that we should remember more than a few days a year.

I love the song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?" by Alan Jackson. I know it is a little cheesy as far as country songs go, but I think it really epitomizes how we all felt.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love


Rachel DeFreese said...

You turn thoughts into words quite nicely. Very touching post, I may have gotten a bit emotional. Miss you!

Brenda said...

That is a great song, it says it so perfectly.

randy n michele said...

Thanks for your post...