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Does thirteen years seem like a long time? Wake up, America! Thirteen is just the beginning of life for a teenager.

 

Thirteen years ago, our beloved nation suffered the worst terrorist attacks in our history. There were three in one morning’s brief time, and 2,973 people were killed. The twin towers of the World Trade Center, 110 stories high, were demolished, the Pentagon was damaged, and a plane, carrying hijackers, crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

 

Depending upon your age, you can remember exactly where you were at that time and the thoughts that were going through your mind. I am passionate about remembering the day and the thoughts and feelings that raced through my head.

 

\This was an opportunity to talk to people and find out how they received the news and the thoughts that still haunt them.

 

These were some of the comments:

 

“I was walking with friends, and when one joined us and told of the first attack, it was hard to believe. We decided to discontinue the walk and get to a TV to follow the updates. I could not believe that such a disaster could occur in America.”

 

“My husband and I were wall papering. I kept going into the TV room, and he was getting irritated. We finally both quit to watch the latest. It was so different from other disasters where the reporting followed the event. We were actually seeing it as it was happening. It was an eerie feeling. Is this part of the end time?”

 

Calhoun County and other schools were dismissed early. It was decided best to leave it to parents to explain the situation to their children.

 

Another comment: “I was in Charleston for a meeting. We were just gathering, and the news came on in the lobby about the first attack on the World Trade Center. One of the aides was periodically updating us. My wife called to let me know that schools were on lock down. The meeting dismissed early and we made our way back to Pittsburgh. There was very little traffic on I-79 North. My thought was ‘We need to improve national security’.”

 

My own thought was, “This can’t be happening. It is not possible. Our world is turning upside down. We are trying to teach our children to love their fellow men.”

 

“Man has made this mess and does not have a solution. God, who led His people out of Egypt to His place for them, is the hope of the world” and now it is His turn to lead us out of this huge dilemma. He does not favor another 9/11 for mankind and especially for His people and that is our protection for our children and our children’s children.” --Joan Storck

 

We were angry at first, and then the people were rallying in prayer for families that were torn apart. Offers to adopt children were flooding in. Volunteers were leaving immediately for the stricken areas. Money and supplies were being collected. Prayer services were being held around the clock. Americans were coming through to help their brothers.

 

At the World Trade Center five-year anniversary, mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “Five years have come, and five years have gone, and we still stand together as one.”

 

Diane Kellie of Montana pleaded, “We must remember as years go on. The dead are not dead until they are forgotten.”

 

Peter Gorman, president of New York’s Uniformed Fire Officers Association, took note of the bright blue sky, relating it to the morning of Sept. 11, 2001: “Today is still a glorious day in the glorious city of New York . . . and America . . . Americans will never bow down to terrorism, thanks to the U.S. military, thanks to every first responder in our country.”

 

Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family reminded us that a banner, “We will Never Forget,” and a cross that was made from salvaged construction beams, were in place at the World Trade Center in a short time. He also said that the sacrifice of life made at Pearl Harbor will never be forgotten: “Point to the Lord, He has not forgotten us. He will guide us and bring peace out of chaos.” He also reminded us that there were 40,000 survivors.

 

There was a movie in 2009 about West Virginia during a low time in our history. The scene opens with a couple that has nothing much but a rocking chair, bed and a few other items that would be necessities. They had been sitting around worrying and feeling down. She said, “A person can do anything, but if people don’t care, it won’t work. I just got up one day and said, ‘We have to start somewhere,’ so I started cleaning the cabin. I’m going to pray to God to forgive me for not having enough faith in Him and also my fellow man.”

Other comments:

“There is a man who had a stroke and gave up to die. Now, he goes to church each week and volunteers in town. He said, ‘I knew this town that I love would live on. This is where I want to spend my last days’.”

 

“We have us a town again. The things that I want to do, I can’t put off until tomorrow. I am scared and angry. I think about life and the wonderful memories. It all took place here. That’s why I came back. Don’t waste time. Trust God and make yourself some good friends.”

Other quotes:

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.”

God Bless America, land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, my home sweet home.”

                                --Irving Berlin, “God Bless America

“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.”

                                --Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

“Do you know what astonished me most in this world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit. Soldiers usually win battles and generals get the credit for them.”

                                --Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

 

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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