It’s the forgotten day, September 10th. I don’t remember where I was, what I did. Who does? I’m sure I smiled; I probably hugged my baby brother; I likely puckered my forehead over math problems. But that was September 10th—blissfully faded into a blank, innocent and perfect and forgotten because of its normalcy.
Ten years ago this Sunday, on September 11th, 2001, I wrote, “Today what rightfully belonged in comic books or scary stories jumped out into the real world. My world.” And I still remember Mama flipping radio station after radio station, the static filling my ears while husky voices hesitated, “We aren’t sure about anything yet…”
The fourth plane crashed three minutes after we found out about the first one, yet I had been awake, eating my cereal, when the first planes had crashed.
It was unreal to this eleven year old. I had no idea what the
was, much less the
Pentagon. The length of a continent was
between me and the disaster, but the fear, anguish, and pain was just as
real. World Trade
No one has to remind me to remember September 11th. I will never forget those who gave their lives that others might live, I will tell my children and my children’s children of the businessmen on Flight 93 who were given the choice of heroism and cowardice and chose heroism, and I will not forget the names of the 2,977 who died that day, with whom any of us could easily have been numbered.
I will never forget. I cry whenever I hear an eyewitness account of that day; I cry when I watch a movie about that day; I cry when the names of those 2,977 people scroll across a screen. But if I remember only to cry, then my remembrance is pointless.
So this year, on the tenth anniversary, I say from my heart that I remember that day, and I want that remembrance to motivate me to cherish as more precious than anything in this world the September 10ths that I am given. I never know when the next day may be a September 11th, but I will not live my life in fear of the next day, nor in the boredom of another normal routine.
Instead, I will love the meaning behind the mundane.
I will delight in the joy of a smile.
I will mark the memories of an ordinary day.
I will revel in the love of God.
I will never forget filing into our tiny country church on the West coast on that quiet, late summer evening nearly ten years ago. It could have been just an ordinary prayer meeting, but it was not. And during that time God gave me these verses to assure me that even though I could not know what would happen the next day or the day after that, I could know one thing:
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
I have had nearly 3,650 ordinary days since September 11th, 2001, and I pray that they are not forgotten as September 10th was. And be there 3,650 more ordinary days in my life, I will take each one as a gift, a precious sign of the love of God. Because I remember.