I was five, eating breakfast. I walked into the living room searching for Mom, and the news had been left on. There on the screen was a lady, talking. And suddenly, she was screaming. A building behind her was on fire, falling down, crumbling, flames everywhere.
I had no idea what was going on — I was only five. I didn’t understand what was being said, what had happened, nothing. I did understand that something terrible had happened.
I understood that people had died.
I understood that it whatever this was, it was going to change everything.
And it did.
I had nightmares for years. I was afraid of fire, I was afraid of the white-clad men they claimed had done this, and I was afraid of being left alone.
The skin on my fingers started to peel, becoming raw and bleeding — and the doctor said it was something common he had seen in children who had seen this and were afraid.
I understood that when my great-grandmother came in to visit us, I couldn’t walk back with my grandfather to go get her. We had wait. Which honestly, wasn’t all that bad, since Grandpa shared his love of orange sherbet with me, and we’d consume a lot of the stuff before she arrived :D
As I got older, I started to ask questions, to try to figure out what had happened that had been the cataclysmic entrance into a war that we seldom hear about, that is disagreed with, and has lasted for nearly 20 years.
And I discovered that the 9/11 plane crashes and twin tower disaster was one thing that caused Americans to unite, to fight back against a common enemy. Several children my age have grown up without a parent because of this disaster — but I also discovered something else, something that I think we would all do well to remember.
While Americans everywhere take up arms against the police and other first responders, seeking to defund them and spreading hatred and lies and rumors about them, let’s take a minute to consider what role they played in the 9/11 disaster, shall we?
It was these brave men and women who battled with the flames, who were the first to respond, who helped everyone else who were stunned into silence co-ordinate an effort to save the people trapped inside the towers.
These brave people faced flames that melted the steel structures of the buildings. They pulled out people who were on fire, they saw things that day that I can’t even fathom, let alone have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Many of these first responders could have gone on about their day, never entering the danger.
But they didn’t.
They ran towards the danger, putting themselves in front of the smoke and the flames, running inside the burning buildings to rescue those who had been left inside.
Those who lost their lives didn’t necessarily have to. They could have walked away from it all . . . but they didn’t.
Guys, those were the true heroes. They were the ones who threw people out of windows before they themselves were consumed with flames. They are the ones who still respond to our calls for help today, who deal with horrible car accidents, face down a criminal with a weapon, chase after an armed person who has kidnapped a child.
I’ll be honest — it irked my family when we started to see the “a hero works here” signs at the grocery store and gas station and everywhere else at the start of the Covid virus.
It’s not heroic to go to work in the face of a virus that hasn’t touched 98% of the population.
It is heroic to run into a burning building to drag your unconscious self out of it.
So, today, take a moment to remember all those who lost their lives on that fateful day 19 years ago. Remember that all those who survived did so because of the heroes who responded — the uniformed people who responded to a call. Think about what would have happened that day if the first responders, the police, the fire department, the medics, had all been defunded back then and had no money or supplies to work with.
No, I’m not saying that these heroes are perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. But they are the reason that many people in New York grew up with both their parents. They are the reason why the whole city didn’t burn down. And those same children who should be able to thank the heroes who responded to that tragedy that day are the same ones who are rioting and picketing to defund the police.
Because of the actions of the heroes on 9/11, many lives were saved. And how quickly we as a nation have forgotten the actions of these heroes.
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.