11 September 2011

I Remember

"Where were you when the Towers fell?"

That is a question people of this generation ask, just like people of my mother's generation ask "Where were you when JFK was shot?"

I'll tell you where I was when the Towers fell. I was sitting in the John A. Widstoe building on the BYU campus, waiting for my Honors New Testament class to start. Melanie, my roommate, and I had dropped her car off on Condo Row with her sisters and walked up to campus early that morning; when I got to my classroom, I had about 45 minutes until my class started so I was studying my scriptures and preparing for my day.

As I sat alone in the classroom on what seemed to be "just another day," I heard a low rumble of noise in the hallway, which I attributed to normal hallway conversation. But the low rumble grew into a clamorous distraction. Before I could stand up and walk out to the hallway to find out what was going on, a fellow student--a stranger--poked his head into the room and queried me, "Have you heard?"

"Heard what?" I responded, thinking through a short list of plausible "what" scenarios.

"The plane crash in NYC? The terrorists?" he probed.

All I could do was stare at him with terror etched in every feature. Terrorists? Plane crash? NYC? Had I fallen asleep? Was I having another one of those life-like dreams--and was I going to wake up, laugh at how real this felt, and go on my merry way of "normal life"?

Unfortunately, it was no dream. That day, September 11th, the world changed for all of us--a waking nightmare that none of us has been able to awake from.

On this day when we honor the 10th anniversary of September 11th, I remember.

I remember and honor the sacrifices made, the service given, the humanity shown, the unity displayed, and the lives lost.

I also remember today that the nightmare continues and that today as our nation remembers these events, the fight goes on: we still have men and women overseas fighting a war that commenced almost 10 years ago--men and women who have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, neighbors, friends, and colleagues who pray for their safe return.

I remember and pay tribute to those we've lost, to those who continue to serve, and to those who prayerfully wait. And I pray for all of them. If ever we needed to heed our nation's motto of "in God we trust," it is now. Let us remember to trust in God as this battle against terrorism continues.

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