It is strange to be over here in London and look both back and across (to America) as we remember.
A decade ago, my cousin was killed in the Pentagon, leaving his pregnant wife behind. We mourned the national tragedy and personal loss deeply. She has since happily remarried and has had other children, but she'll tell you that moving on and raising a kid as a single mom was the hardest thing she's ever had to do. She wouldn't wish that inner turmoil on anyone-- that mixture of grieving over love lost and hoping for new life; a blessing to come and heartache to bear. (I think she'd also tell you that God has redeemed what the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25a) and God has brought abundant joy and family out of a situation meant to destroy her sense of family.)
I'll never forget where I was: Mrs. Gonzales's pre-cal class when someone from the front office told us about it. Mrs. G didn't believe the aide and continued teaching. Only after both Towers were hit did we make our way to the library with so many others and watch... And wait. That day is forever suspended in time, burned into memory.
In the shocking aftermath we watched our country come together. Neighbor helping neighbor, friend helping friend, American helping American.
I have so much pride in our great nation; it is difficult to be away on days like today, when the rest of the world could not understand. But the distance doesn't change or waver our hearts. We're still as present as we can be and we still remember. We are still
One nation under God,
With liberty and justice for all.