It is Patriot Day!
A day to remember the events, heros and victims of September 11, 2001. We decided to have a patriotic tea party and special remembrance of 911 for our weekly Tuesday Tea Time.(for those of you anxiously awaiting the next part of my courtship classes…it will be coming next week!)
We set up our tea with a patriotic theme – festive red, white & blue table settings and flags as a centerpiece. (for those of you who think this was planned out in advance and that I am super organized…think again! I simply realized this morning that it was tea day & that it was September 11 so I “threw it all together” on a whim!) The girls (including cousin Ashley who is here visiting from Redding) got into the spirit & dressed for the occassion. We even found an instrumental CD called “Stars & Stripes Forever” to play as background music. As we served our tea & cookies we talked about September 11, 2001. Each of the older girls shared what they remember from that day. Most could remember the television showing the planes hitting the towers, the feelings of fear and sadness as well as the American pride & patriotism that prevailed. Aunt Jennae showed up unexpectedly and joined our tea time. (What a blessing! I knew I should have listened to that still small voice that said I should always have an extra tea setting on the table.) She shared her remembrances of that day and touched our hearts with her passion.
After they each shared I got out my 2001 photo albums. I was actually in the Washington DC area on a business trip on that fateful day in American history, along with my then 7 year old daughter, Kristen. (she is now 13!) We were getting ready to fly home on that very same morning those planes were flown into the twin towers. I read to them my reflections & remembrances of that time. (I am so thankful that I took the time to write this down!) Here is an excerpt from my album –
From the moment I turned on the television at my mothers home in Springfield, Virginia…everything began to become surreal. I sat frozen alone on the couch as I realized the atrocity and severity of what was happening. All I could think was that I wanted to be home with my family. I was 3000 miles away and with all air traffic being suspended indefinately, there was no certainity of when I could get home. I called Dan who was still unaware of what was happening on the East Coast (It was still very early in California). He prayed for me & told me how much he loved me. He also shared how relieved he was that I was at home at my Moms and not on an airplane at that moment.
As I sat back down to watch the unfolding drama I learned that another plane had crashed just down the freeway from where I was into the Pentagon. I was stunned! What was happening…and what would be next? It was at that point I looked down at my confirmed airline itinerary dated September 11. 2001 from Washington DC to California. The full impact hit me. I easily could have been a passanger on one of those airplanes heading to California. I began to cry & praise the Lord that it was not my time to die and that I was not on an airplane right then being divereted to another city somewhere in the U.S. I was at my mothers home with my sweet daughter. I had a lot to be thankful for that day. We finally did get home four days later. (but not without several delays including getting stuck in Minneapolis for a night and being graciously taken in by a business associate Leanne Anderson) I was so happy to be home with my precious family.
In the aftermath of 911, it was inspiring to see patriotism come to life in America. Everywhere you looked people were wearing red, white & blue, flying flags, putting up signs & showing their love for their country & fellow citizens. Flags were everywhere – on every home, hanging from bridges, on cars, on buildings, on clothing…it was overwhelming & emotional. I found myself with eyes filled with tears and getting choked up several times a day as I witnessed the love of others and the patriotism that had been sorely missing in the daily life of most Americans. People also began to give of their time, talent & treasure in abundance. On every street corner money was being collected & people gave freely. Many volunteered their time and stood in line for hours to give blood. It was an incredible moment in history to witness this outpouring of love & generosity.
This tragedy of 911 also turned many peoples hearts back to the Lord and to faith. Everyone was in desperate search of answers and in great need of peace, hope & security. People were coming together in droves to pray and seek God. Our common faith in God became evident to all. The cross rose up out of the ashes of the towers and became a symbol of hope for those at Ground Zero in New York. We all knew that we desperatley needed God. No one was offended by people praying or evoking the name of Jesus. There was a National Memorial Service broadcast worldwide where Billy Graham boldly proclaimed the gospel.
September 11, 2001 was truly a day that changed everything.
We ended the tea by watching this video. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did as you remember where you were on September 11. We here at the Lambdin home…will NEVER forget!
God Bless You & God Bless America!