by Sherry Anderson
Having my morning
tea, I sat in the living room of our houseboat at the marina. The
phone rang. It was Dianne at the office.
"Turn on the
TV!" She said and the phone disconnected.
I clicked the
remote and the TV came alive. In a moment, I saw smoke pouring from
one of the World Trade Center towers. A voice from the TV said "A
small plane has apparently gotten off course and crashed into one of the World Trade Center
My husband pulled
open the door and entered with our Sheltie.
"Mike. . ." I said
then trailed off as he spun to face the television. The look on his face showed he already knew what happened.
Together we saw the second plane hit. Stunned, we stared at the screen. Then over the next hour the scenario
continued to unfold as time passed -- with first the collapse of one tower, then 29 minutes later, the other.
Gray ash billowed with speed, as if chasing the people. Terrified, screaming throngs ran from the scene.
Shocked, we gazed, hypnotized by the sheer horror of it.
My birthday lunch
had been pre-scheduled for 11:00 AM with my girlfriends. By the time I arrived at the restaurant, the Pentagon
had been hit and the plane crashed in Pennsylvania. That day
was somber, as the television continued to replay the morning scene and news commentators spoke of the
Within a day, signs
and marquees all up and down our city streets read "God bless America." Soon after this event, a surge of
patriotism swept the United States. With God being mentioned on the signs and in comments and speeches, it
appeared we were all more God-conscious than ever.
It comforted my heart to see President George W. Bush on television as he attended church with
his family. His sincerity etched in his face. He was not just a "Sunday Christian" and he carried the burden for
a wounded nation. His presence at Ground Zero seemed to calm and reassure us as a nation that we were together
in this and would overcome it.
intensified around the country. In our city with military bases, it became obvious that the world was now a
different place. Armed guards and armored vehicles stood at the gates. We, as well as many others, requested
refunds on our airline tickets. This resulted in my husband driving a van load of women to Houston for a
conference. Sobering days followed the tragedy.
What changed about
airline travel? No more running to the airport at the last minute
or traveling without our bags on the same flight. Any liquids must be removed from carry-on bags and put in a
quart sized plastic bags for inspection. Anything exceeding 3.4 oz
now gets tossed in the garbage bin, including expensive cologne. Barefoot, we walk through metal detectors
because of a later failed shoe bombing attempt. Passengers are scrutinized if they purchased their airline
ticket on the Internet 24 hours before takeoff. An announcement regularly plays in all airports warning us to
never leave our bags unattended and to report suspicion packages or baggage.
Prayer stepped up
around the country. Intercessory groups and ministries came forth
out of the fire of crisis and still function today. We are sober and alert now as a nation. I know right where I was that
day. It changed America forever.