Many of us remember September 11, 2001. What an emotional day! The day began like any other day. I readied myself for work and my youngest son for school. We arrived at our destinations expecting a typical day. Millions of Americans most likely thought the same. Those using mass transit used their mode of choice- buses, trains, or subways. Others walked or chose carpools, airports, trains, subway stations or private automobiles. As we bustled with activity, none of us thought the day would become a horrifying experience.
I still remember sitting behind my desk working. Suddenly, my chief walked quickly to my office. The office staff promptly located the television and watched what seemed like a movie; only it was real. Commentators attempted to remain professional; however, they failed. We watched the broadcast without a word- disbelief shown on each face. We could not understand this unimaginable event on our soil.
Our base and those in the continental US and worldwide locked down, which meant only essential personnel were on base. I remember briefly looking toward the airport, which resembled a parking lot, not of automobiles, but of all aircraft classifications from small, fixed-winged to highly sophisticated airliners. Schools released students to their parents. I felt helpless; the child was one of the thousands sent home. I could not pick him up from school or relieve his fears. I could not leave the base. The nation shut down. It still sends shivers through me as I type this account. My job that day was cutting orders and calling squadron personnel to duty. Employers, without hesitation, released their guardsmen. Like many guard components, we were now federalized; we no longer belonged to our states. We joined our active-duty and reserve counterparts.
As I remembered the day's events, I realized two critical items we sometimes forget. First, nothing in this world happens without God's foreknowledge. He also knew many people who never thought about him would think about his grace and mercy and come to him for salvation. I believe this violent act also ignited a fire and longing for millions to pray and return to God. Though this was a tragic event, God is still in control.