9/11 Memories

Two years ago I was driving to the shopette to get some milk before I went to work. I turned on KCRW and it sounded like it was CNN. I checked the radio and it was KCRW. They were talking about a plane crash. I had no idea what they meant. A man said that planes can crash into buildings on accident like that. I got out of the car and bought the milk. When I got back in they were talking about how it couldn’t be an air traffice controller mistake, the pilot had to see the building before he hit it. Furthermore, the possibility that it could happen twice was just too much.

I dropped the milk off at home and headed to work. On the way I heard about an explosion at the Pentagon. I thought, “Is this it? Are we under attack and we can’t defend ourselves? Is this the end of America? When will the explosions end?”

When I got to work, I immediately got busy with the work I’d been doing for the past couple of months. I was reviewing maintenance records for some Pakastani F-16s we were pulling out of the boneyard. We needed to decide what kinds of updates they had missed that had to be done. I was working with a civilian and another Master Sergeant. When we heard about the towers falling, Ray (the Master Sergeant) got really mad. He wanted to nuke just about everyone. He was ready to go to war on the spot. Someone was going to pay.

A week later, I was on an airplane flying to Burma on a short-term mission trip with my church. People said we were nuts. Perhaps we were, but I was not going to let Osama Bin Laden stop me from bring the gospel to the world. In Burma, after a day in the field, I returned to my hotel room and put on BBC. The retaliation had started in Afganistan. I was geographically closer to the retaliation than I was to the inital strike. On the way back, I sat in a hotel in Singapore watching the news of Anthrax being mailed to different people. I was actually more afraid of going home than I was of leaving.

Last night I watched a special on PBS about how the towers fell. When they showed the plane crashing in to the second tower I burst into tears and sobbed for a minute. I didn’t do that two years ago. This time I saw the airliner not as a missle but full of people who didn’t have a clue what was about to happen to them.

Today, my wife is on her way to China on a short-term mission trip. On the two year anniversary of 9/11. We’re still not going to allow Satan or the world stop us from telling others about Jesus Christ. He is worth the risk.

For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind,
  and declares to man what is his thought,
who makes the morning darkness,
  and treads on the heights of the earth–
  the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name! – Amos 4:13 (ESV)

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