The words to that song Alan Jackson wrote just after September 11 often come to my mind around this time of year. “Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day”. I remember the moment with more clarity than I remember anything at any time in my life. The overwhelming fear that washed over me as I stood holding my mother’s hand in her bedroom where I had rushed into her house to tell her to turn the television on. We stood watching in horror as the second plane smashed into the second tower. And in that horrific moment my life changed forever.
We have always been a military family. Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force blood courses through our veins. When I was a young girl I stood at the end of a runway in Marietta, GA watching the impossible become possible when the C5 took off from Dobbins AFB after years of seeing my father and grandfather works thousands of hours on the project. My children were raised on the drop zones of Fort Bragg watching paratroopers rain down from above and seeing Hellfire missiles blast targets into smithereens. Third from oldest son actually slept through a live fire exercise complete with Apache helicopters flying overhead, MLRS’s whumping right beside us, and Vulcan’s filling the air with their comforting buzzing hum. My grandchildren have known nothing but war with their fathers, uncles, and grandfathers serving tour after tour overseas. Peace has never been in their vocabulary.
But I remember when there was peace. When we got up and went to work and kissed our husbands and wives and children goodbye as they put on the uniforms of their individual services and went off to play at war. I remember the peace that we had when we blithely drove through the unmanned gates of military facilities. When we didn’t have metal detectors and security profiles. When we didn’t have to take our shoes off to get on a plane and your lipstick wasn’t considered a dangerous weapon.
That day haunts me. It is the day that defines my family dynamics. It is and was and always will be a stark reminder that we can’t take freedom for granted. That we can’t turn our backs on evil. That we can’t stop protecting our country. Evil came to the world the day that Cain struck Abel with a rock and for centuries since, evil has slithered around in the shadows. But on that day, evil came out into the open. From that first moment of realization to today, every moment is tinged with the knowledge that it can and will happen again.
So today I will pray a little more, praise a little more, hug a little tighter, and remember those whose lives were lost. Please don’t let this day just become another day on the calendar. Teach it to your children. Sit down with them and watch the video’s. Explain to them what happened. Never let them forget that when we become complacent, the evil that has been stalking us will pounce.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
©2015MichelleWelch, team member of Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries and Single Matters Magazine
Lyrics from Alan Jackson’s song Where Were You found HERE
scripture from English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.