Becky Holland , TCM Ink 2016
As Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by terrorists on America, many across the nation will take the time to pay tribute to those who lost lives and recall those days of terrors. Everyone of us will remember where we ere when we first heard about the attacks.
We won’t be able to forget the shocking images we saw on TV and will be able to still recall those feelings of horror and despair as we watched the smoke and flames cover the Pentagon and Twin Towers and then, of course, as we saw people jump from the buildings.
That day will always be something I can recall. Everyone has their own story about 9/11. Mine is of being in a college class at least eight hours from home.
I was walking with Brandon, and we were on our way from our health class at the University of West Alabama to our class in the football offices. The secretary of the coaches came running out hollering that America had been bombed. We headed toward Coach Pippin’s class. I put my books down, and went to Coach Pip’s office. All of the coaches were in there watching television. Coach looked at me, “They have bombed the Twin Towers, Beckster.”
We watched in awe for a few minutes, just kind of in shock. Coach Pippin took us back to the classroom where he told what had happened, led our class in prayer and dismissed. I was working as the recruiting assistant, so I just stayed in the offices. In fact, I stayed in Coach Pippin’s office, and sat on the couch, and kept my eyes glued to the television.
Over the next two hours, and off and on for the next several days, I remember watching the collapse of the two towers, and saw the first images of the smoke coming from the Pentagon and tried to function. I talked to my parents everyday almost, and hung out at the Pippins’ house, just kind of staggering around like everyone else.
It was a time period when you couldn’t do any work – you just wanted to be with your family and loved ones.
Even after the event happened, it took a while for life to get back to normal. So many were touched by 9/11 in a personal way – deeper than the rest of us – they lost a loved one or almost did, participated in the cleanup, changed careers or recovered from injuries.
I really didn’t have a personal connection to what was going on – not as directly as those people. My family was in that area, my brother’s art work was in a gallery in NY, friends were in the military, but my connection wasn’t like those people’s. I do remember feeling things were a little off kilter – OK, a lot off kilter. It had been what, almost 60 years since America had been attacked – think Pearl Harbor – and for a lot of us, this was new.
Things like that do have a way of really tearing you down and making you really see what is most important to you – God, family, friends, church …
God also used the events of that day to remind me how much of life is beyond our control. This wasn’t a new lesson; it seems that I have to learn it over and over. I think, though, it struck home the hardest that day.
Today, I pray, as we reflect on that day 15 years ago, I call for all people to remember those patriotic feelings that happened after and remember that unity we felt then. Let’s bring that unity back. No more divides. No more protests. No more hatred of law officers. Let’s not let the memories from that day die. Let it not make us fearful. Let it make it dependent on God more. Let it make us get along better. Let it make us throw down the walls.
Let’s stand together.
For 9/11 victims. For 9/11 heroes, let’s continue to stand together.