Saturday, September 10, 2011

Honoring the Memory of 9-11

It is hard to believe that ten years have come and gone since the infamous acts of September 11, 2001.

I had scheduled vacation during that time as I had a high school friend coming to visit for a week. She arrived a few days before the event. Her flight out the Saturday after was much different and much more difficult.



I remember us commenting on all the aircraft that were sitting in 'moth balls' at the Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson the day we picked Jan up from the airport.  It was a much different look on the day of her departure.  The aircraft were gone and the security patrols around the perimeter and at the gate were frightening and a testament to what had just happened to our nation.

I recall us sitting mesmerized in front of the television not believing what we were seeing unfold before our eyes.
I recall unbelief…
I recall numbness…
I recall fear…
I recall anger… 
After a while, I declared a moratorium on watching the television and the news… the nation’s sorrow was more than I could bear and I could feel myself slipping into the familiar stages of depression and hopelessness.

I remember being horrified as I watched persons in Cairo celebrating in the streets at the demise of the Twin Towers. Not too long ago I recall a similar event in the streets of the US when it was announced the bin Laden had died at the hands of Special Ops. What a sad commentary on civilization when we celebrate death and destruction. What legacy are we leaving to the children?

There is a movement underfoot to honor the memory of 9-11 by doing volunteer work. Today, I choose to do just that. Between the hours of 9 – 2 today I will be reading books to children in a prison visitation room. This is also National Literacy Month, so it fits quite well together. Perhaps just one child might develop a love of reading. I can only hope. I can only pray.

In the meantime, I will determine to stave off the feelings of helplessness and depression that normally try to make a home in my heart and soul on this annual occurrence.

Where were you when you heard the news of 9-11?

Will you be honoring the day with a 'work of service'?  (This isn't to guilt or goad you into it, this is just how I choose to honor the memory and I'm curious if anyone else will be doing something 'in memory of'). My husband and a friend will be doing a motorcycle poker run today in honor of 9-11.
Psalm 127:2 (NRSV)
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.
Update 9-11:

My volunteer efforts lasted four hours vs. the five I had intended.  There were not that many children in visitation yesterday.  I had two children who were interested - an eight year old girl (Melissa) and a six year old boy (Preston).  They were not related and rather than my reading to them, they wanted to read to me!  It was wonderful.  Preston's Mom & Dad came over to sit and listen to the children read.  Dad encouraged Preston to hold his book up to show the pictures after reading.  One other toddler and his Dad and Grandmother came over to listen to me read an age appropriate book for him.

It was a good time but I will admit to some of the visitors being less than open only due to the fact that I am a staff member, therefore I am the enemy.

I have a 'daily calendar' devotional on my desk - I've had it there for years, but I never connected the scripture verse to how it relates to today (9-11).  I guess I'm slow sometimes...
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
If my people , who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

~even so! Amen!

p.s.   the copyright on this is 1996!

Tamara