September 11

Written by Bill Grandi on September 11th, 2023

September 11.

‘Nuff said.

I was sitting in my recliner for a few minutes before heading out for a ride yesterday when I turned to my wife and said, “Do you realize tomorrow is 9/11?”

9/11. Oh…the memories. 22 years ago and it seems in some ways like it was just yesterday when the world of the USA was turned upside down. I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when I got the news. (And I am willing to wager you do also). Two other men and I had made a short drive from Sandusky, OH to Massillon, OH for a one-day finance seminar for churches. It was live streamed (before that was even a big hit). We hadn’t head anything about the attacks since the radio was off as I drove and we talked. We were stunned when we arrived; the seminar was delayed; and we heard the news. Although, admittedly, I had no knowledge of the Twin Towers (finances and building were not my thing), I sat in stunned disbelief and silence as the TV replayed the events of the morning. Then the reports of a downed plane in a Pennsylvania cornfield and a plane hitting the Pentagon made us all realize we were the victim of a terrorist attack. (Gone, for sure and maybe forever) was our sense of security and our manner of doing things, especially travel. The next few days were a blur as I sat in front of the TV in the evenings hoping for recovery of bodies. A changed sermon for that upcoming Sunday.

But there are some other thoughts:

  • Party politics took a back seat as our lawmakers sang “God Bless America” as one (How different 19 years later during the summer of 2020).
  • People cared about people. Stories of heroism emerged out of the rubble of downed building and a downed airplane in a field. Police, firefighters, and others were heroes for selfless acts (Again, how times had changed in 2020).
  • 33 year old Todd Beamer, a husband to Lisa, a father of one, and a Christ-follower whose words “Let’s Roll” became synonymous with heroism and unselfishness.
  • Heartbreaking stories of loss emerged. So did tributes. Tunnels to Towers, an organization committed to building debt-free homes for disabled vets, emerged as a tribute to a firefighter brother who died at the Twin Towers doing what he was supposed to do.

Lots of memories. Memories we must not forget. Stay tuned tomorrow for more reflections. Until then…“Never forget.”

Those two words are making havoc in my brain this morning.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Hard to believe, 22 years. My young family at the time had moved to Fort Smith, AR just 3 months prior. I remember walking into the break room for a cup of coffee when the north tower was attacked. At the time, I thought it was a tragic accident. How those thoughts quickly changed when the south tower was hit nearly 15 minutes later. The the Pentagon and the flight that was heading toward the capital. Even as I read your post and thought about how to respond, the emotion of 22 years ago made a return. The lives lost, the families broken, in a very real way, things would never be the same.

    As we look forward today and the days beyond, let us remember to look beyond the differences we have with others. Let us strive to be kind, to dispense God’s Love, and help us “Never forget”…

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Your words confirm what I am thinking Ryan. Events and the emotions involved never leave us. Your admonition is well taken and much needed.

  2. Amen, Bill! My post today is on the same subject. Yes, may we honor those who gave their lives that fateful day, and may we never forget.

  3. gail says:

    I remember the day well. I was at work, everyone ran to the conference room to watch the TV. I thought when they said that a plane hit the tower it was a little private plane, when I saw the footage of the jet, I could not believe it, then while we were watching the news the second plane came in and hit the second tower. I knew then it was no accident. I remember just praying, not knowing exactly what to pray or how to pray. Seeing the sky completely void of planes was such a eerie feeling. The days that followed, I remember the heaviness as so many stories came out. The whole event seemed surreal and it made you think of your priorities as people phone conversations came out as they said goodbye to their loved ones, calling from the towers, or the plane. It’s sad that it takes tragedies to pull God’s people together. To get people focused on one another and their needs above their own. For awhile after 9/11 people seemed nicer, more caring, more loving, slowed down, and talked to strangers, and took an interest in those around them. As christians we need to have these attributes all the time, showering love all around us. Taking the time to stop and talk to people, ask them how they doing in loving and caring way. Shining the Lord’s light to all. The tragedy is without the Lord, people do not understand how lost they are, and I do not believe they know what true separation from God really is. As christians we face that tragedy daily, we need to focus not look away.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Sadly, it took a tragedy to make us slow down, listen, care more, etc as you say. But also just as sad, it didn’t take long before we forgot and went right back where we were. That cycle needs to change.

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    would that we, as a nation, come together again over all the things we can agree on and hold dear.

    so many lessons from this season 22 years ago. thank you for taking us there, Bill

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Agreed Linda. It is heartbreaking to see how far we have fallen from that day. And you’re welcome

  5. Cheryl says:

    Such a different world we live in now and such spiritual decline in the past 22 years. Now it seems like when bad things happen on a large scale, people become more hardened towards God, instead of turning to Him for help. I discerned a lot of things in 2020, and this was one of them. The tenderness that used to be produced in the aftermath of tragedy has been replaced with a greater disdain for God. It often reminds me of when Jesus said because iniquity would abound, the love of many would wax cold. We are surely seeing this happen right in front of our eyes. So troubling and sad!