Do you remember how you woke up on 9/11? Were you awakened by a friend who almost yelled at you to turn on the TV and see what was happening, or what you thought when you watched another plane crash into the World Trade Center? What did you do? Like me, you probably thought there was a mistake.
We were awakened by a dear friend who keeps earlier hours than we do. But we couldn’t stop watching, and when the second plane flew into the second tower it was pretty clear that this was not a mistake. Someone may have slipped up somewhere and destroyed that first huge tower full of people, but it couldn’t happen again by accident. It was enough to make our legs wobbly.
I was reminded of the airship Hindenburg, which crashed and caught fire upon touching the ground in New Jersey. I can’t forget the cry of the newspaper man who had been there to record the arrival of the airship after flying across the Atlantic Ocean. “Oh the humanity!” he cried, as he watched the fire blazed as hot as the gates of hell. Bodies were on fire and dropping beneath the flames as screams could be heard as death consumed them. “Oh the humanity!” indeed.
This was much worse. My bride and I were glued to the TV watching as human lives were being destroyed, live on TV. People on the higher floors were jumping from the building to a sure death instead of waiting for the flames to consume them. I pray I never see anything like that again.
Death is not a stranger to me. I had seen, in my life, horrible death of young men who had done nothing but answer our nation’s call, but nothing like that terrible day. Lorraine and I were just looking at each other with tears in our eyes. Who or what would do such a thing? It was inconceivable that any human would commit such an atrocity. Would our world ever recover from such a sight?
As time passed we got a few answers to our query. They were not the answers we wanted. We wanted to hear that it was a terrible mistake and that such a horrible accident had happened. We were left gasping for air like a goldfish that has jumped out of the bowl and tried to breathe air instead of the water necessary to live.
We weren’t angry, at first. Anger would come and terrible thoughts about what we had to do as a nation to strike back. It took a while, but eventually we knew that anger would not cure anything. In order to rid our selves of those dark thoughts, we did what we always do for comfort. We reached out for our God to help us and to flush the dark thoughts. He had given his only begotten son to die for our sins. We had to get on with life.
The next day it was so quiet in our little part of Gonzales. No cars were honking their horn and no voice could be heard. When we stepped out of the house, we felt like that fish gulping for air. As we stood there, other folks of our little part of our town stepped out. We greeted each other somberly. We approached each other and wept in each other’s arms. We asked God to help us get past this terrible memory. Of what, we still weren’t sure. Nobody could conceive of this being an act of a human.
Each person beseeched their God in their own way and with their own words. We offered each other some solace that at the time seemed inadequate. We asked God for anything to get past the pain.
I suppose you are asking why I bring up these terrible few days in our lives. Why question this act as it had passed? Our government had found the fiends and dealt with them harshly. Why relive this terrible period of uncertainly?
I wanted to point out that as we go through another period of uncertainty, we will see dark days and we should remember how we came together on this terrible day. Today, our government is in flux. Immigrants are flooding across our borders to seek a better life. Their trek is fraught with danger and death. Whole families are wading across treacherous rivers holding children and each other as they come to the Promised Land.
Our government is doing nothing to make their exodus easier. In fact, our decision makers are sitting on their hands while our children are being murdered by the influx of terrible drugs. The drug cartels are marketing these deadly drugs as candy and sending them across the border. They are the No. 1 killer of our youth. Have we forgotten the past?
A year ago the decisions were being made by those who had no experience to justify their actions. Lives were lost and destroyed by pompous and inadequate government officials. We will get past these mistakes. We are citizens of the greatest nation in the history of man. Let us come together and remind the officials that they work for us.
Our nation was shamed by the action of inadequate government officials. Let us not make the same mistake again. We must welcome our new citizens and help them achieve their dreams. But we should be ever vigilant! Let us never forget 9/11, but hold tight to the love we had for each other and our God on 9/12. We can do that again.