- the assassination attempt was made on President Reagan's life (my 18th birthday, I was at the mall when I heard about it from a Belk's employee)…
- The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean (January 28, 1986–my brother's birthday–I was at work in Atlanta)…
- John F. Kennedy was assassinated (okay, I don't really remember this because I was a baby, but it was on my sister's birthday and I just realized that major U.S. tragedies have occurred on mine and my siblings' birthdays…!)
–like you, I remember what I was doing when I learned about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. Sitting in my office, a co-worker walked in and announced "A plane just crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York." When she told us a second had crashed, I walked down the hall to find a group standing around a television, watching live coverage, confused and disbelieving.
Shortly afterwards, I left to visit a friend whose birthday is September 11; I remember ducking as I looked up at a beautiful blue sky, wary pieces would begin to fall from nowhere.
Like you, we were glued to television for days, ravenous for news that would make sense of it all. Though information poured in, explanation defied logic.
Our nation rallied, and for a season it really did feel like "…one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all."
Today, America collectively remembers while 10,000 stories are being told and retold. This poignant song by Alan Jackson manages to capture the essence of what we were feeling on that world-changing day ten years ago.
Beautifully and significantly Jackson's lyrics reminds us that some things never change–
"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…."
Yes and truly, the greatest of these is love.
The stunning painting at the top of my post is "Twin Towers" by the creatively and wonderfully talented Chattanooga artist, Brent Sanders. Commissioned by the Times Free Press for its cover today, "Twin Towers" is available for purchase (100% of the proceeds for the original piece benefit Chattanooga's Red Cross).