…except that a meeting in Hartford, CT, a meeting I tried for months to schedule in the World Financial Center, meant a car picked me up at 5:30 for the 3-hour drive to CT.
I almost didn’t go. A bad chase of laryngitis made me want to stay in town and just go to the office instead of making the trek out to the meeting. I commuted through the World Trade Center every day, right around 8:30 or 9 a.m.
At 8:30, all of us in the meeting I was leading in CT, started getting cell phone calls. I overheard the guy next to me, looking online and saying under his breath, “Oh, this is bad.”
We all went to the conference room and watched the events unfold. Tragedy, not believing our eyes.
That night, unable to get back into NYC, I was holed up in a hotel, having gone to T.J.Maxx next door to buy some flip flops and a pair of shorts. I was glued to the TV, calling everyone I knew to say I was alright. But alright? Really? How would we ever be alright again?
The next day taking the train into the city, then followed by weeks of what felt like a funeral all over the city, we would go to and fro on our streets, smelling the smoke, living with the horror of what had happened, yet trying to move on.
Every time a fire truck would drive down the street people would stop and applaud. This went on for weeks. Co-workers, many who had been in the middle of the chaos that Sept. 11 morning, would stop at my office door and ask, “What are you doing to combat the fear?”
Psalm 91 was my mantra those days. I memorized it start to finish, needing Truth to combat fear. I love that passage still, and will never forget what prompted me to memorize.
Sunday night this week we heard a wonderful speaker, Captain Steve Scheibner, an American Airlines pilot who was scheduled to fly the plane from Boston to L.A. but was switched at the last minute, and thus his life was spared. I highly recommend this video that shares his story, it is powerful and we must never forget.
So today, I honor all who lost their lives, the families who still live with the losses, and the way God intervened to bring us all through. I met my husband Ron because of 9/11, and found our wonderful church because of it too.
As World Trade Center One rises, today I’m celebrating the hope that rises out of tragedy, and redemption out of loss. God bless America, land that I love.