The words “Nine Eleven” – if you are older than our son James (who is now 20,) you can answer the question “Where were you when you first heard the news of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center?” I was in my office working on a message for what the Wesleyan Church was calling “Salvation Sunday.” It was a beautiful late summer morning – a clear blue sky. The irony would be that at least one of the planes that were flown into the buildings that day, flew overhead our church that morning on their way to New York City. I was in disbelief – believing at least the first plane, might have been an accident – a miscalculation – also not realizing it was a jetliner and not just small aircraft. When Pam came back into the church and told me the second planed crashed into the second tower, our world literally came to a stop…for the next few hours we would sit transfixed watching the events unfold. I was also working at RadioShack – scheduled to work that afternoon. When I got to work, we continued to watch…it would be later that we would be introduced to words like Al–qaeda and the Taliban. We would learn of the masterminds behind such an act of terror.
As I think back, by this time on that Tuesday, most of the major malls in the area had closed, we were in a strip center so we stayed open. In the days that followed, we continued to watch the events unfold…but for many hours on that Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the world stopped turning.
Alan Jackson wrote a song that year – “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” – that I believe captures the sentiment of most of us on that day. Today we remember those who died, the people who were on their way to work, the police, fire, children and many others. We will never forget the day the world stopped turning.