Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember 9/11!

By Debby Giusti
America must never forget what happened on September 11, 2001.  Fanatic terrorists, their hearts twisted in darkness, planned and executed a horrific, multi-faceted attack that put a human face on evil.  That day, our lives changed forever.  We lost our innocent and perhaps naive belief that we were safe despite the rising tide of radical extremists hellbent on doing us harm.

The first, seemingly random crash of a jet airliner into one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, in New York City, caught the attention of the nation and indeed the world.  For many, the tragedy unfolded as we stared in disbelief at television newscasts, horrified by what we saw.  A second airliner exploded into the second tower, confirming our worst nightmare.  The United States was under attack. 
Struggling to fully comprehend the magnitude of those first malicious acts, we watched a third aircraft smash into the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C.  With rumors of a fourth plane headed for the capitol, many feared the terror would never end.
Thousands died that day, innocent people who never expected an attack on U.S. soil or the catastrophic consequences that ensued.

First responders—fire fighters, police officers, EMTs—rushed into burning infernos in order to save lives only to lose their own as the towers collapsed into mammoth mounds of twisted metal and billowing clouds of smoke and debris.
In Washington, D.C., brave military men and women joined hands with civilians to quell the blazing fires and rescue co-workers trapped in the shattered and smoldering rubble of the Pentagon. 
In the air above Shanksville, Pennsylvania, a planeload of heroic citizens fought to recapture an aircraft slated to wreck more havoc on our country.  “Let’s roll,” became a battle cry for those brave men and women and the watchword that called all of us into action.  Rolling up our sleeves and reaching out to those in need, we worked together to rebuild and heal.

Ten years ago, we learned that freedom is never free.  With it comes responsibility.  As post-9/11 people, we must be strong and vigilant and ever ready to defend our country and our way of life, knowing what happened once could happen again.  Those who seek to do us harm continue to plot our demise, yet God is stronger than any enemy.  He is our hope in times of peril and our surety in times of strife.  We must put our trust in Him and return our country to His protection. 

Today, as we remember 9/ll, let us rededicate ourselves to the principles upon which our country was founded.  With one voice, let us proudly proclaim that we are the United States of America, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
In honor of the brave heroes of 9/11, I'm giving away two copies of THE OFFICER'S SECRET, the first book in my Military Investigations series.  Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

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  1. I remember seeing this and at first thought it was an accident when it scrolled across the tv screen. I remember I had kept watching then was listening to the radio for ages.
    Dont enter me I have this book just need to read it.
    Can you tell me what state the book is set in?

  2. I was in a meeting and rushed out. Later the guy leading said I was the only one who realized the situation. I had grown up in DC and my sister was working next to the Pentagon at the time. Still, it was an unbelievable thing.

    My prayer the past few days has been, "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy." I have watched footage I haven't seen in ten years and said, "God bless them" out loud as I heard about the heroes of 93 and watched footage of firefighters go into buildings.

    I am praying we stay safe today and in the days to come.

    Peace, Julie

  3. Well said Debby.

    We were building our house and completely unplugged. I phoned the electrical supply company to inquire about light fixtures and the salesman said something like, "MY GOSH WHERE ARE YOU??? DON'T YOU KNOW???"

    We had to go find our TV and plug it in.

    An additional note. We had the honor of meeting Lt Col Birdwell and his wife Mel at the Joni and Friends Wounded Warrior Getaway. Their ministry Refined By Fire is worth checking out.

    Thanks Debby for a beautiful tribute.

  4. I was rocking Taylor on the side porch. She was a newborn baby, three months old, and a country radio station alerted the first plane. No details.

    When the reporter gasped a few minutes later and said something like, "Dear God, the second tower has been hit" I knew...

    And my daughter's words from two years before hit home. She was doing an internship in the World Trade Center, a summer long assignment, part of her Masters program at Princeton. She called me one morning and said, "I don't know how these people do it, knowing day after day that they work in the number one terrorist target in the world."

    Debby, thank you for this beautiful post. Prayer and remembrance. God bless America.

  5. Debby, your post was so good. There are a lot of churches in our community that are having services honoring any type of first responders. Both my husband and I are volunteer firefighters and medical first responders. I can't even think of how it was to have to work at the 911 attacks. Those men and women are so unselfish to do what they did.

    I really enjoy reading your books. Looking forward to this one as well.


  6. So comforting to know you are remembering with us, Ausjenny! Truly, the whole world grieved that fateful day.

    THE OFFICER'S SECRET takes place at Fort Rickman, a fictional military post in Georgia.

  7. Peace to you, Julie!

    Prayer is the answer, isn't it? We need to seek God's protection for our country.

    I join you in praying, "Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy."

  8. KC,
    I saw LTC Birdwell last night on television. He recounted his horrific struggle to live and the heroic men who helped him out of danger that day.

    His story brought tears to my eyes. Such courage. Such faith.

  9. Debby, this is a wonderful post....thanks. And yes, prayer is the always. I would love to read your book.

  10. I was in my ninth grade classroom with the TV on as the students and I were watching a special history presentation when the attack happened. At first we weren't sure what had happened and when we realized what was going on I wasn't sure whether to leave it on or not or even if the powers that be would let us keep it on. Every room had a TV and I think the kids learned something more important than the lessons that were planned for that day. Many of the children in class that day were from military families because we have a navy base near. By the way these were high school students.

  11. I agree with Jackie, this was a wonderful post. It made me turn cold and then hot. It made me think about the 1000s who lost their lives.

  12. Ruth,

    Your daughter was prophetic concerning the World Trade Center. As I recall, over 50,000 people worked there. Truly amazing.

    Great symbolism in you holding the tiny baby who had only recently come into this world while listening to accounts of the many who lost their lives that day.

    Life does go on, but we need to always remember what happened on 9/11.

  13. Hi Patsy!

    We never know when emergencies strike. That's why I am so proud of men and women like you and hubby who are willing to help your brothers and sisters in need. That's the American spirit.

    God bless you, and God bless the USA!

  14. Patsy, thanks for your kind words about my books! Hugs!

  15. Hi Jackie! Thanks for praying for our country.

    You're in the drawing! :)

  16. Ellen, you made a good decision about letting your students watch history unfold.

    My hubby and I were talking about kids growing up now who will have little memory of the tragedy. Just as we need to remember the Holocaust and what happened to Jews and Christians alike, we also need to remember 9/11.

    I'm so glad churches and schools and communities are holding services and ceremonies to commemorate the ten year anniversary. It brings me comfort that we can share our own thoughts and reflections on this blog, as well.

  17. Pam asked me to write today's blog post, which allowed me to reflect on what happend then and who we are today. Thank you!

  18. I got up early this a. m. to watch the news coverage and got so wrapped up in it I missed church. I've said so many prayers today for the families and our country I hope God understands. We must remember too that not all Muslims are bad and that the fanatical religious folks in this country are ad dangerous as the men who flew those plains. Great post!

  19. Debby, a profound post! I never get tired of listening, reading or watching anything about 9/11 this weekend. We need to remember it! It seems like our nation has forgotten the feelings of that time - the working together, the unity, etc.! We need to get back to that!

    I already read your book so don't include me in your book drawing (loved the book, BTW, can't wait for the next one in the series!!) but just wanted to thank you for the post!

  20. Debby, what a beautiful tribute! I think we all remember where we were that day. I worked in a school library and our principal called an emergency staff meeting at recess. That's when I heard about it first.

    Even though I live in Canada, three of our families had dads who worked in the World Trade Center. We prayed as a staff for guidance on how and what to tell the children. We knew we had to tell them something before the rumours started flying over the lunch hour. Our principal was a marshmallow coated with a gruff exterior and we all cried as we watched him grapple for words to comfort our school community.

  21. Oh sheesh! That's what I get for answering on an iTouch from Barnes and Noble.

    Should be ..."are AS dangerous..." and planes, not plains. Darned autocorrect.


  22. Hi Marilyn,
    I was praying right along with you! My daughter, hubby and I were crying not long ago as the news replayed the scenes of what happened ten years ago today. We were all overcome with emotion.

  23. Hi Valri,

    Thanks for your kind words about my book! You've made my day brighter!

    I've been glued to the television.

    Did anyone see the Pentagon ceremony when the various services marched together carrying wreaths of white flowers? All the while, a choir sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic. I had goose bumps!

  24. Oh, Kav, how heartbreaking that what happened on 9/11 would touch your country, as well. Did the three parents survive?

    So hard when young children are involved in the tragedy!

    We were all brought to our knees on 9/11. After watching all the reruns on the news, I feel the same today.

  25. Marilyn, no worries! We're all together in this...especially today.

  26. God bless the families of those who died that day, and thousands of soldiers who have died since, and God bless America.

    May we be ever vigilant and never forget.

  27. I was walking from my car to the door of the office at work when I heard the guy's radio in the shop say a plan had hit the first tower.

    Like many, I was shocked, and saddened at the loss of life, but still thought it was a small plane and an accident.

    I remember that night how still it seemed. I stood outside and looked at the sky, knowing I wouldn't see or hear not one plane in the sky.

  28. I'll never forget that day. I remember watching the TV as the second plane flew into the 2nd tower and not believing what I was seeing. My oldest son was 2 and I was newly pregnant with my youngest.

  29. I had just started my freshman year of college when this happened. I remember where I was and what I was doing to this day. So sad. Now, ten years later I am having to explain it to a room full of 2nd graders who weren't even born when this happened. I am student teaching right now and it's one challenge I never saw I would have to deal with. How to explain tragedy on American soil to kids without scaring them. My mentor teacher doesn't even know how to approach it. Amazing how History changes things.

  30. Jennifer,
    My son is six and was asking about it this morning. I was having a hard time explaining who the enemy was/is.

  31. Pam,

    You brought back memories of the quiet skies. Not one plane, as you mentioned.

    A gal I know couldn't get hold of her hubby while 9/11 was unfolding. He was a pilot. She had a difficult time until he was able to call her.

    All of us were in turmoil that day!

  32. Tracy S, Jennifer and Pam,

    You all have little ones who had to "experiece" 9/11 through the lens of time. I'm sure your explanations helped to make the events meaningful to them.

    I pray the next generation realizes the impact that attack had on each of us. I also pray we never forget that evil can strike if we're not on guard.

  33. The winners of THE OFFICER'S SECRET are Playground Monitor and Jennifer!

    Check out the sidebar on our blog for information on contacting our web gals with your snail mail address!

    Thanks for stopping by to leave your comments and reflections on 9/11. I enjoyed sharing this special day with all of you!

  34. Although I'm a day behind on posting this comment, I just wanted to say thank you for writing these words...How true that our God is mightier than any enemy! ~ No need to enter me in the drawing, as I already have (and loved!!) your wonderful book.
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  35. We (Nigerians) join you (Americans) to remember 9/11. We pray that God will keep us and our countries safe.


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