You can’t help but remember.
You can’t help but be taken back to that day.
I was at the beach. On girls’ vacation. Far from my husband. Far from my family. Far from the “real world.”
But the real world came crashing in… all it took was one phone call.
Only a few of us were up when the first tower was hit. We hadn’t turned the television on yet. It was beautiful outside. Calm and quiet. We were planning to hit the beach as soon as everyone was up. Lounging on couches reading books we never had time to read at home occupied us until then.
The phone ringing that early in the morning surprised us. On the other end was one of the girls’ mom. She told us to turn the TV on right away. She was worried that a branch of her daughter’s office was still in one of the towers. Thankfully, that branch had moved several months prior. But it didn’t matter, we were now glued to the television.
We watched in horror with Matt Lauer as the second tower was hit. We sat in shock and fear as we realized (before the news people I might add) that they were targeting planes heading from the east coast to California. Did we know anyone flying today? Where was my brother (who was currently working in CA but often came east for business)? Who did we know in NYC? Was anyone we knew in danger? Where else would they hit.
We each took turns on the phone calling home and checking in with loved ones. I ached to be home with my Sweetie, but I had flown (ironic) in the day before and had to wait for a ride home with the girls. We decided to stay at the beach as we had already rented the house for the week.
The beautiful beach taunted us with it’s golden sands and rippling waves. Instead of enjoying it’s paradise, we sat on lumpy sofas watching the never-ending coverage of the days that changed world history. We went through boxes of tissues that week as we watched horrified yet entranced by the images that filled the screen.
Every once in awhile we would hear a jet and race outside to see what was happening. We quickly realized there was a naval base nearby and what we were hearing were fighter planes patrolling the skies. That sound both terrified us and made us feel safer all at the same time.
That vacation was one I will never forget. Not because of the memories created with my girlfriends, but because during that vacation the world as I knew it changed.
We will never be the same.
We can never forget those who died that day.
We can never forget the brave men and women who sacrificed themselves trying to save others.
We can never forget the ultimate sacrifice of family that our military forces give each and every day that they protect us near and far.
We can never forget….
So thankful for a God who never forgets, who reigns forever.