The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (Psalm 53:1-3).
A couple of years ago I wrote about remembering 9/11/2001 on my personal blog, so if your read that and some of this sounds familiar, that’s why. 20 years ago, I was 12 years old, a sixth grader in South Holland, Illinois, and on my way to school when I heard the first news on the radio of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. I didn’t know anything about that building other than that it was a skyscraper in New York City. Knowing what skyscrapers in Chicago looked like, I tried to picture that in my mind—it seemed crazy.
2001 was a time before social media and kids that age definitely didn’t have cell phones, and so the day went on like normal for me. Eventually our teachers shared with us what was being reported. This wasn’t a single plane accident resulting from a mechanical failure; it was intentional. There wasn’t just one plane that crashed, but four. These weren’t small planes, but rather commercial airliners filled with passengers. They had been hijacked by terrorists who were part of an organization called al-Qaida.
I turned on the TV when I got home from school and watched the continuous coverage of the tragic events in New York City, Washington D.C., and rural Pennsylvania. I started hearing about Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan. I saw pictures and videos of the fiery crashes, the buildings falling, people jumping to escape and running down the street fleeing the cloud of dust and debris. I remember President George W. Bush speaking to the nation that night about our resolve, and appreciating his efforts and leading in the weeks and months to come. The rest of that week, I followed the rescue efforts and the numbers of the injured and casualties. With a firefighter/paramedic for a dad, the efforts of those at Ground Zero seemed that much realer to me.
The events of that day changed so much: security protocols, the beginning of a lengthy war, a