In some ways, it seems only a year ago that our country faced such death, destruction and disbelief. Yet it was nine years ago that I was loading 100 fifth graders on school buses for a field trip, when one of my colleagues whispered in my ear.
"Ami, our country is under attack," she tearfully whispered. "Two planes just flew into the World Trade Center. My husband is watching the news at home and calling me with updates. I think our school will be under lock down any minute. Take your students back to class."
100 pairs of young eyes could see the fear on my face. "I'll explain later," I quietly told my students. "Just turn and follow me."
And then I was faced with what to tell my students. They needed to know why we weren't going on our well-planned field trip, but I could hardly form the right words. How do I tell them our world has changed forever? How do I tell them that we're safe, when I don't know that for certain?
Within a few minutes, I had voicemail from Rick and my mom with further details of the horror unfolding. At that time, I decided I could only tell my students that our country was facing a very tough day and their families would need to decide what to tell them that evening.
Nine years later, I want my own children to know what happened on this day. Or do I really want them to know?
Each year, I try to explain 9/11 to my young kids, and each time I cry through my explanation. I keep it as simple as I can, but it's not simple. Our country was attacked, and many people died. Many families were directly affected.
As I was contemplating over 9/11 this morning, I felt compelled to pray for those lost souls who rejoiced over such pain. The Lord tells us this in Luke 6:
27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
As I continue to remember, I must also pray for my enemies.
I also felt the Lord prompting me to move on. Yes, I will remember that fateful day for the rest of my life. And I will whisper prayers as I remember. But I must also move on.
So we will play baseball today. That's moving on for us.
(And I'll forgive Blogger for not allowing me to change the font back to its original state.)