“It was the first time I ever saw you cry, Dad”, said Practically-Perfect Daughter yesterday as we considered together the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I think we all knew instinctively that the world that we knew on 9/10 would never return to us. I remember a few things clearly:
- On the last normal night of our lives, Karen and I spent a nice evening celebrating my 41st birthday. We ate seafood at Youngstown Crab Company (we’ve never been back, though I’m not sure why).
- On the bright, sunny Tuesday morning that was 9/11, I got up early to change the oil in my car, prior to our district pastors’ gathering. I went to Sheetz to pick up some refreshments, and my associate pastor, Steve Van Slyke, was gassing up his car or something. “Have you heard about the plane hitting the World Trade Center?”, he asked, and of course I hadn’t. I went to my office, fired up the computer, and was immediately horrified. I called Karen and told her to turn on the TV, that I’d be home in a bit. We had the pastors over to our house where we sat in stunned silence for a couple hours watching the events of the morning unfold in all their horror.
- We organized a prayer service for that evening at the church, and a Sunday evening service on the Mercer Square for all the area churches to come together and pray.
- I remember wondering what kind of world my kids would grow up in.
I don’t know that I have anything particularly profound to say, and I doubt my words add much to the remembrance of the situation. But it’s a day none of us will ever forget, and life as we knew it has never been, nor will it ever be again, quite the same.