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How did 9/11 change you?

I was working at home that morning.   We don’t have a TV. I rushed over to Scott Borg’s and sat in his driveway as Tom Brokaw described how the second tower was falling. My heart was in my throat. What did it mean? How broad would these attacks be?   People thought as many as 25,0…
By Seth Barnes
I was working at home that morning.
 
We don’t have a TV. I rushed over to Scott Borg’s and sat in his driveway as Tom Brokaw described how the second tower was falling. My heart was in my throat. What did it mean? How broad would these attacks be?
 
People thought as many as 25,000 might have died in the towers. We later gave thanks that there were only 3,000.
 
AIM usually responds quickly to crises. We had boots on the ground after the tsunami. We had 4000 volunteers help with Katrina within a year, 75 people arrived that first week. We were all over Port-au-Prince after the earthquake and in Alabama cleaning up after the tornadoes.
 
But 9/11 was before all that.

fireman Staff members Bill Britton and Jen Borders arrived at Ground Zero within weeks to help out. The wreckage of fallen buildings lay in jagged heaps on the
ground. The body count was rising daily.

Bill described a fireman playing a kind of
requiem on the bagpipes for his lost friends.

“I turned to see and there in the brightness of artificial
lights was a lone fireman in full gear blowing forcefully into his instrument.
The look on his face is indelibly etched into my heart and soul. The image
caused me to weep.

“The fireman-musician looked forlorn, his eyes red, his
cheeks puffed as he struggled, as if desperately trying to breathe life into
someone he knew was dead. We had heard that only an hour or so before, another
brother fireman had been pulled from the rubble (about the 10th since we
arrived here). It was as if his bagpipe was his fallen comrade and somehow he
wanted to bring him back to life; yet knowing he couldn’t, his heart was
broken.”
 
We since learned more about al Queda than we ever wanted to know. We watched helplessly as the TSA began frisking old ladies before they boarded airplanes. I thought sure there’d be another calamity somewhere in America. It’s amazing all the shoe bombers and other incompetent terrorists that we’ve thwarted along the way.
 
For a while, people reached out to God with their pain and their grief. Then things drifted back to a new normal.
 
I’m more attuned to how fragile we humans are. I’m more present to what God is doing in the earth and how we might join him.

 

How about you? Where were you when the towers fell? How has 9/11 changed you?

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