Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

   I still remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. I was seven years-old at the time and lived in San Antonio, Texas. I was playing in our front yard when my Mom called to me from the front door of our home. I turned and saw that she was crying. “President Kennedy is dead,” she said. I knew that Kennedy was our President but had never before been told that anyone was dead. For the rest of the afternoon I sat with my Mom and watched the story of Kennedy’s assassination unfold on our tiny black and white television. Later, when our copy of Life magazine arrived, I leafed through the pages and looked at the photos of Kennedy and his family. I remember the sadness of that day.

   I also remember where I was when I heard the news of the coordinated suicide attacks by Al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001. I first heard the news on my car radio as I was driving down Irving Boulevard in Irving, Texas. I rushed to the church where I watched the rest of the story unfold on television. Our staff stood in stunned silence as we watched the second plane fly into the Twin Towers. A total of 2,993 people died in the attacks. In the days following the attacks, we heard many stories of unselfish acts of heroism — on the part of those who resisted the hijackers on board the airliner that crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania, and on the part of those who risked their lives in attempts to rescue those trapped in the rubble of the fallen towers.

OsamaBinLaden   At the time of the attacks, I lived between DFW Airport and Love Field in Irving, Texas. I was accustomed to seeing airliners in the skies at all hours of the day and night. However, in the days following 9/11, the skies over the metroplex were silent. I was scheduled to fly to Bangladesh on September 16 but had to reschedule my trip to November. When I arrived in Bangladesh, I was shocked by what I saw. Every rural village I visited was saturated with Al-Qaeda propaganda. Osama bin Laden’s photo was everywhere. On more than one occasion hecklers shouted at me, telling me to go back home to America. Finally, I asked a small crowd of hecklers this question, “If I could give you enough money to go live in America or go live with bin Laden, which would you choose?” To a person and without hesitation, everyone said, “America!” That irony is fodder for another blog.

   For the past several years there have been no terrorist attacks inside our borders. Because of that, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and think that we are safe from the evil intentions of jihadists. In his book entitled “Inside the Revolution,” New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg points out three reasons why we have not been hit again. First, because we and our allies have done a better job of identifying and intercepting terrorists plots. Second, because we and our allies have remained on the offense against the jihadists. Finally, and perhaps most frightening of all, we have not been attacked in these past years because Al-Qaeda is planning larger attacks. They are no longer merely interested in frightening us, but in annihilating us. Rosenberg’s book is thought-provoking, challenging, and worth reading.

   On this eighth anniversary of 9/11, may we remember all of the innocent people who lost their lives, all those who gave their lives in attempts to rescue or reach others in danger, and those who continue to live their lives with the absence of loved ones who died on September 11. And may we pray for our leaders, that they might be vigilant and have the courage to discover and disarm those who would seek to do greater harm to us than we experienced on 9/11.

• • • • •

Please take a moment to read my related post entitled Night of Fear and Faith.


Responses

  1. Well said, O~!

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart. I was in NYC that day. Years later, I still struggle to find the right words to express the experience, the fear, the sadness, and eventually the anger I felt on 9/11 and the following days. Today is a day to remember those we lost, the everyday men and women that became real life heroes, and to trust in the sovereignty of God.

  3. Stephanie…

    Thanks for your comment. I just read a post by my friend Tammy Swofford that speaks about the choices everyday men and women had to make on that terible day. Here is the link to Tammy’s post — http://tammyswofford.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-11-2001-swofford-never.html.

    Blessings,
    Omar~

  4. God is still in control and Christ is still alive! NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS

  5. Omar,
    Thank you for the remembrance. We have not had another attack. How many thwarted attacks due to concerted efforts by security forces across the globe? The public will never know.

    God Bless America.

    Tammy

  6. Omar,

    You were right in Sudan and you are right today. You are a writer and so clearly and graphically you paint pictures of how most of America feels but cannot express. Thank you for this investment of time in this blog and in all of our lives. Blessings on you!

    That all may hear…even more so the jihadists!
    Jerry

  7. Jerry…

    Thanks for your comment. My trip to Darfur with you was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I remember being saddened by the plight of the children, especially those being taught the doctrine of hate in the madrasas. I pray with you that all may hear, including the jihadists.

    Blessings,
    Omar~

  8. The illogic of “death to America but I would love to live there,” and hero worship for a mass murderer, always amazes me. But for millions of folks, that is the only way they think.
    Telling my young son that our nation had been attacked – sneak attacked – was one of the toughest things I ever did. It is hard to fathom the fanatical reaction in support of terrorism, but it is there whether I understand it or not. We will recover from these shadowy enemies – but the economic cost is so high, and the fight will take many more years.

  9. Harry…

    Yes, that kind of logic is hard to fathom. And, it’s interesting to consider that while we were explaining to our kids what a terrible thing had happened on 9/11, many kids in Islamic countries were being told what a good thing had happened on 9/11. The Al-Qaeda propaganda that I saw in Bangladesh after 9/11 was incredible. I am glad that we can tell our kids that Jesus never took a life and never endorsed murder. Any Christian who commits these acts does so contrary to His teaching and example. Not so in Islam!

    Blessings,
    Omar~

  10. Thanks for the remind again. If unfortunately anything happen in America, that affect me too. When terrorists attacked your country, which affected me and my family. Because of the tragedy, volunteer team could not come, and some of them canceled their trip. If voluntaries do not come, I do not have work with translations. I was affected with such a way.

    Mortuza
    Bangladesh


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