Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life markers

There are certain markers in my life that I refer to as my life's timeline.

Markers such as when we were married, when our sons were born, during the summer when we went to ______________ on vacation, when Luke was HS senior, when my mom passed away, when I received a cancer diagnosis, etc.
These markers are referred to as in “I remember that happened when the boys were 2” or “remember that was before mom died” or “that was before thyroid cancer”.

We, who live in this our great country have common timeline markers as well…the revolutionary war, the civil war, when Presidents Kennedy & Reagan were shot, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded and today now marks the anniversary of yet another timeline marker, September 11th when terrorist attacked on home soil in New York City, Pennsylvania & Washington, DC.

I imagine most people can tell you where they were and what they were doing as they first received word of those attacks. I was sitting here at the same desk I sit at today and received a call from our friend, Mike telling me to get online and see what was happening. It didn’t take long for the news to spread throughout the campus, a campus that was already reeling from the death of our college President in an automobile accident the day before.

Most classrooms that had a television were watching the news broadcasts. I can still see the stunned faces of the auto body students when I walked in their classroom. Here was a room full of fresh out of high school young men with their first real glimpse of a national crisis. I knew the thoughts going through their heads were “Will we go to war?” “Should I enlist and serve my country?” “Will there be a draft?” I know these were their thoughts as I had three draft age sons at the time and those were the questions that came up in conversations as well as thoughts that were going through my mind.

Where you and what were you doing?

My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected personally by the tragic events of 9-11.

photo courtesy of Flickr

“Heavens, raise the roof! Mountains, send up cheers! God has comforted his people. He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people.”
Isaiah 49:13


  1. On September 10th my son and I were on a flight with my brother and his son. I remember looking around and saying to myself, "It's probably not a good idea for all of these family members to be on the same flight."

    I was working for the local newspaper and on my drive in to work that morning I remember saying to myself, "This is perhaps the most beautiful morning EVER." It was a morning of such stunning beauty. And then I got to work and the newsroom was literally in a panic. I saw grown men and veteran seasoned journalists weep. It was a humbling and terrible experience. I got into a heated discussion with one of the newspaper photographers about the controversy over photographing the people as they jumped to their death. "You must understand" he said, "that this is history and it must be recorded as it really happened, in all it's horror. Many years from now there will be people who will insist that this never happened." I knew he was right and how sad is that??

    The saddest, saddest thing for me was, in the days following 9/11 to see the CIty of New York literally plastered with photos and flyers begging for information on their loved ones. That was heart wrenching.

  2. I was up that early for a meeting. I watched the news for a while and then at the meeting we all offered prayers for those impacted by the disaster. The most poignant personal thing I recall was a call from my daughter. She was in her second sememster of teaching k-6 general music. She called and asked how you could teach when your classroom was full of scared students and you were scared yourself. The only answer I had was....let them talk and hug and love them. You all need it.

    Thought of you yesterday as I turned at your work corner to go visit mom at the nursing home up the street. And thanks for telling me about the farmer's wife blog. We had coffee together yesterday and it was a good time

  3. Your tribute to 9-11 is heart warming as well as thought provoking. I was teaching school and Yes, we turned the TV on. We were told to be very sensitive to children during that time and remain calm. Many parents came and picked up their children from school.