I remember exactly where I was when the planes struck the towers on September 11, 2001.
I was less than one month into a new job when I found myself in a conference room at work riveted by what was unfolding on the television screen.
Chaos, panic, people running into the towers while others were fleeing. The images of planes hitting the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon are forever etched in my memory.
It is hard to believe it has been twenty years since that fateful day. As I find myself traveling on the eve of 9/11 this year, my thoughts turn back to the day that changed the course of America and sparked the war on terrorism.
My heart goes out to all the families who live this day over each year as they remember their loved one. In 2019, I traveled to New York with some colleagues, and we had a chance to visit Ground Zero, where a memorial and the Freedom Tower stand in memory of that horrific day.
As someone who travels to different cemeteries, this memorial is one that forever remains etched in my memory.
Walking into St. Paul’s Chapel across the street from Ground Zero, I read a quote offered by Officer Gail Douglas of the NYPD that says,
“St. Paul’s Chapel is an oasis of heaven in the midst of Hell.”
Throughout the search and recovery, St. Paul’s offered hope to the broken, comfort for the hurting, and strength for the weary.
Crossing the street, we stood where Infinity waters run to remind us of the towers that once stood as a symbol of New York.
Each tower is lined with the names and the unnamed who lost their lives that fateful day. The Freedom Tower now stands in the shadow of the fallen to remind all of us that we are survivors, and the memory of the fallen will never be forgotten.
Today, we remember the fallen and their unwavering spirit in the face of tragedy.
Let the words of the psalmist comfort your soul,
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”
— Psalm 23
To all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, you are never forgotten.