Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11: A personal memorial

Seven years ago today I went into work at Sears, and Louise, who worked in the next department over, asked me if I had heard the news: Someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center. I immediately thought of the plane that flew into the Empire State Building in the 1930s, so I didn't think it was more than a possibly tragic accident.

But as the time progressed, and we tuned into coverage in the TV department, rumors started to fly: Someone claimed that Hezbollah had claimed credit (blame). But no one knew anything.

Then the second plane hit. Then the Pentagon. Then someone came in and actually bought a dishwasher. I couldn't believe it.

I watched the flames go up, and I started thinking, "This is serious." Then I noticed the blacked remains of the upper floors, and I thought, "This is really serious." Then the first tower fell.

My son called me and we both marveled together at the horror we were watching. All we could say was that we couldn't believe it. It was awful.

Then I heard about a fourth plane that had crashed in Pennsylvania.

Now we know what heroes the passengers of Flight 93 were. We have seen the Naude brothers' video, and we have heard stories of survivors and seen the tragic day as part of a plot point in TV shows (Mac Taylor's wife died in the WTC on CSI: NY) .

I now realize that my first thought wasn't terrorism, because the Clinton Administration had been so effective in tracking down, arresting, trying in open court, convicting, and punishing the perpetrators of the 1993 WTC bombing. The Bush Administration has taken the military course and it has been a total fiasco. Osama bin Laden is still thumbing his nose at us, and we are bogged down in a war started against bin Laden's biggest enemy in the Arab world.

Still, my prayers are with those who died seven years ago today and with their families.

May God's will be done henceforth.


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