Having grown up in Northern New Jersey and as a student at Black River Middle School in 1976, I could look to the east from the front lawn of the school and on clear day I could see the Twin Towers 35 miles away in Manhattan. I thought that was amazing, they were so large, I was so far away, I always thought that would be the case, but 25 years later, the view changed.
It’s been seven years since that clear blue sky morning in 2001 when our lives changed and our understanding of just what freedom is came into focus. I was on my way to a Commonwealth of Massachusetts bridge construction project in Gloucester MA when I heard on the radio that a plane had hit the WTC. I was surprised that that happened because that’s a no fly zone and that just doesn’t happen by accident. Then a second one hit and it was obvious that it was no accident. We were under attack.
The Commonwealth shut down all the state jobs and we were told to close the office and head back to our corporate office. I continued to listen to the radio and on my way back to the office I stopped at a Radio Shack to get some items for the job trailer with one of our Project Superintendents. Interestingly enough, he had worked on the WTC. He was with the construction company that removed the “Kangaroo Crain’s” from the towers when the buildings were completed. He told me, “Scott, those buildings are tough, the frames are strong, I was on the Top of the Towers, they can take it.” While standing in the store at 9:59 am, we watched on the TV as the first tower fell. We just stared at the TV and were silent.
The world changed in those few moments as the dust rose in to the clear blue sky from the falling south tower. The thousands of lives lost, on the planes, those trapped in the towers, those heroes rushing in to harms way to save those people trapped, and at the Pentagon must never be forgotten. The leadership that President Bush showed was inspiring and the level that the Dems sunk to shortly afterwards was infuriating.
This year’s election will cause us to consider these issues again. We have a choice between Strength vs Appeasement, between Leadership vs Organizing, between Never Forgetting vs Just Not getting it. The image at the top of this post hopefully will remind us that when we can’t make sense of what is happening around us, if we look hard enough, we may see something that can point us to The One who does.
For a Minute by Minute Timeline of that day, click here. (The timeline is accurate, the political overtone is not to my liking, but it’s a resource.)