We all have our story from September 11, 2001, which has now become known as 9/11.
Here is my story.
My day started out a little different, than my normal days. Normally I would be just getting home and going to bad after working my 3rd shift on the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit, at Lutheran Hospital in Ft.Wayne Indiana. However, 2 months earlier I had meet a man. This man lived south of Atlanta and I was taking a trip to go visit. It wasn't my first trip but it was a very important one for our relationship.
Flights out of Ft.Wayne were always crazy expensive so I always choose to go to Dayton Ohio and fly into Atlanta.
So I got up extra early and drove to Dayton got my luggage checked and took my time getting to my gate. Everyone was bustling around trying to make morning flights. People were laughing, kids were running, the mood was light. Security was a howdy hey how are you and a very small town feel. No one was worried or afraid just ready for their normal day. I found a pay phone and used a calling card (remember this was 10 years ago). I called my mom to tell her I made it to the airport, and then I called Ben to tell him my flight was on time. He had about an hour and forty five minute drive to the ATL airport.
Boarding had just begun so I hung up and went and got on my plane. I was seated next to a lovely couple who was headed to ATL to get married. They were so excited. Within minutes you could see things shift on our airplane. People's pagers started going off, and people started to look a little panic, but they remained silenced. I remember them locking us in the plane, and them coming on and telling us that the President of The United States has grounded all Commercial flights. As you can imagine things got a little tense. When it was our turn a crew from the airport came to our gate opened the plane door and escorted us off 1 at a time. We were told there would be no flights out today and probably not for several days. There was 1 tiny television in a barber shop in the airport, and hundreds of people were taking turns coming out of there. Every person young, old, male, and female all walked out with tears in their eyes. I made my way in and saw a glimpse of what looked like a horror movie on the television. Did I mention that September 11th is my birthday ?
I made my way to the phone again and called Ben first. He was relieved to hear my voice. He was getting ready to leave his house for the ATL airport and happened to flip on the television to see the war zone that had begun. At that time there were still hundreds of planes in the sky, and mine was one that would have been up there if President Bushes orders hadn't grounded them.
I told him I was still coming and that I was going to drive. I told him that I would call with more details after I let my family know I was okay. Between the phone call to Ben and to my mother, I noticed the couple I was sitting next to on the plane. They were clearly upset. I asked her what was wrong, and she begin to tell me since we sat on our plane for so long there was no rental cars available and she had no way to get to her wedding. So I did what anyone would do and offered for her to ride with me :) I then called my mother and told her about said strangers and how they were coming with me, and that I would be in contact with her as I could along my drive.
As we began to drive the landscape of America changed before our eyes. Suddenly red, white, and blue could be seen in directions all over the highways. On overpasses flags hung down, on business signs read "We Love America". I also got a speeding ticket which was a complete joke because the amount of traffic on the road was insane. Wall to wall cars because no one could fly. We saw the heartbeat of America at it's best. Not thru a journalist but thru the people. We made it to our destination and all was well. I realized that day Ben was for sure going to be my husband. See it was him who I wanted to be with during this crazy adventure and as much as I love my family they got trumped by him. My mother even said she knew that was the day I was going to marry him as well.
Was my plane one that was headed for CDC in downtown ATL like they said ? I will never know.
Was my life taken. No.
Did that day forever change my life ? Absolutely!
God bless the ones who gave their lives, and the families left behind.
I will never forget, nor will anyone else. I pray that on the 10th anniversary that the people who may have been scared and fearful and ran to Jesus or to a Faith for their answer that this year on the 10th anniversary they would find Jesus for who he is and for what he has done for them. My prayer would also be that they wouldn't be sacred into a relationship, but find a genuine relationship.
Praying that something like this never crosses our soil ever again.