Today I stood on hallowed ground. I remembered, and I mourned. My tears flowed and heart ached for the passengers and crew of United Flight 93, their families, and our country. And I cried because we forget.
September 11, 2001, I was in small town KS. I remember my friend Kelly & I stopping our radio program early as we came to the full knowledge that terrorists were attacking America. I became glued to CNN, and that was where the story of Flight 93 unfolded. I remember feeling guilty, for feeling so safe in my little KS world. It all played out on tv like the big screen, my heart broke, but in a way, it was all so far from me.
Today I stood at the Flight 93 crash site, overlooking the rolling Pennsylvania Hills. I wept for the men and women on that flight, the horror they must have gone through, the courage they had, and the lives ahead of them that they lost. I wept knowing that the passengers took things into their own hands, made their own plan, fought against the terrorists, to save others lives. They knew about the crashes in New York and Washington, and they knew their plane was also a suicide mission intending to kill many.
Today it rocked me to my core, to stand in rural Pennsylvania and think that these were ordinary people, with ordinary jobs, in an ordinary place, called to do an extra-ordinary thing. Today I realized that Shanksville PA wasn’t so far away on 9/11. It could have been any of us. In a moment of emergency, these men and women gave their lives to save other Americans.
I left that place with a gnawing thought. Do we remember what these lives were lost for? The threat is still there. There are many people, even nations that want Americans dead. They want to destroy the United States. That is their intent. And they have declared war.
We must defend ourselves against terrorism. Protect our country, our citizens, and the memories of those who gave their lives to protect us. That is what 37 ordinary passengers did for us on September 11, 2001.
(This post was originally posted in March 2011. Today I wanted to share it with you again. My heart grieves for each one personally affected on 9/11, and all of those, like myself, who felt so close, yet so far away. On that day our country “cried out to God”, our president “cried out to God”, and I pray that as a nation, we continue to do so ten years later.)