Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pausing to Reflect on 9/11

Yesterday was Monday and I had every intention of getting my blog written about mineral powders, but when I sat down to write, I was always interrupted.

I began to write the blog again this morning, but today is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and I can't bring myself to write about makeup.

I visited the 9/11 sight in May of last year and it was sobering to be there.  I saw the beautiful bronze memorial on the wall of the fire station directly across from the twin towers.  I toured the visitors' center with photos and salvaged pieces of the terrible day. I walked and listened to the stories of witnesses and survivors.  And there really are no words to describe how you feel while standing on such tragic ground.  In the midst of the heaviness at the sight, there was hope though. The little church that continued to stand through the clouds of ash, debris and fires, that burned for months after the tragedy, symbolized peace and hope.  Then there were the actual plans and construction for the new memorial and museum and buildings rising from the dust.

Eleven years ago, I remember that I was putting my two year old son in his chair to start a video to entertain him while I went to shower.  There was a lapse in time and I saw the flames in the 1st tower and stood staring at the TV.  While my brain was attempting to process the unusual sight, a second plane entered the TV screen and hit the second tower.  News commentators were saying these were freak accidents, but I knew immediately America was being attacked and I began to feel fear.

I remember the somber quiet nights that followed here in Houston.  The commercial planes were grounded and I was used to hearing them fly over the house when I crawled into bed.  We did hear the Army choppers fly over and sometimes the military jets would patrol the airspace above too and my heart would jump at the sound of a plane overhead.  Before 9/11 I didn't really think about the jetliners in the air, but now when I climb in bed at night and hear planes in their flight patterns overhead, I say a prayer and ask the Lord to protect each plane.  I also pray for all of the passengers and I ask for a safe arrival to the plane's final destination.

Our Nation and airports were forever changed on 9/11.  We can't carry on our cosmetics and toiletries  (which is most irritating to me - especially when contact solution leaks all over clothing inside a suitcase).  We have to stand in inconvenient lines and remove our shoes, and we have chosen to endure invasive pat downs & body scans in the name of "security".

After 9/11 our nation was actually united - for a few weeks anyway.  We didn't divide ourselves into groups and we recognized the one common bond we shared was that we were "Americans".  We proudly flew our red, white & blue flag to honor those who perished and those for whom we were praying for.  We also returned to houses of worship and remembered that there is One who is greater than us all and only He could mend our brokeness and give us hope.

In so many ways, we've forgotten the lessons we learned on 9/11.  We've forgotten who we were on 9/12 and we've allowed the mundane of our lives to takeover.  We've once again allowed ourselves to be swayed by all things that glimmer and entertain us.

What we wear in our hair or tint our lips with will change as soon as the next fashion magazine hits the stand.  The clothes we just have to buy today will eventually wind up in a thrift store.   The iPhone we use today is tomorrow's ancient technology and we will want the latest and greatest gadget.  

We must take time to evaluate what we honestly value the most and what is most precious to us.

As so many survivors of 9/11 reflect on today's events and continue to mourn for all that was lost,  I would like to remind you that we are only on this earth for a brief amount of time. 

Remember that life is precious and, as an American, we are still blessed with the freedom to create our own legacy.

What are you doing to make a difference and leave a legacy in your family and community?  

If your life was suddenly cut short, how would your family and friends remember you?  

What brings you hope and joy?

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