I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news about President Kennedy’s assassination – in my high school senior English class, discussing American humorists.
I also remember where I was twelve years ago. I was walking into work and saw a number of coworkers gathered around the TV in the lunchroom. I was going to simply walk on past, but then the picture caught my eye. It looked at first like a scene from a movie–but then I realized it wasn’t. I initially thought they were replaying what had just happened…but it was the second plane hitting the Twin Towers.
No one wanted to go to work. No one wanted to move. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing and hearing…
I work for my denomination, and a friend of mine–an organist–coped with it the best way she knew how, and she offered ministry for many of the rest of us…playing for a couple of hours as we had the opportunity to come and go (or stay), trying to process how our world had changed.
About a year or so later, my husband and I took a trip back East, and we went to Ground Zero. What struck me then were the pictures and the impromptu memorials that had sprung up.
Later we decided we wanted to see the movie “World Trade Center.” Again, what struck me was the way in which people helped each other–and the firefighters and other rescuers who moved forward into what they knew was an extremely dangerous situation with confidence and assurance that this was their job…and their ministry.
Our world changed twelve years ago. We cannot go back and undo what happened–but we can change some of the changes that occurred.
We have let it polarize us…separate us from each other. We have allowed ourselves to believe that violence is the answer to violence…and the spiral of hatred and violence has continued.
If we can each live so that we shine as a light of healing…hope…reconciliation…we can change the way in which we remember 9-11-11. It may sound impossible…but Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
So…would you join me in bringing the light of healing and hope into our world?