Where were you when the world stopped turning….

These words that almost all of know whether we enjoy country music or not resonate with all of us.  They resonate not just because we ask ourselves where we actually were on the morning of September 11, 2001 but rather why we were where we were at.  Why were you in Topeka, Kansas and not on one of the airplanes that was hijacked?  Why were you in a classroom teaching those innocent children and not working as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley?

This blog is not going to be about remembering September 11, 2001, though I do believe it is good to remember, we are going to do that naturally and you don’t need my assistance in doing that.  Rather, I would like you to think about your own life and the lives of your children and the choices that we all make on a daily basis.  We all make decisions on a daily basis.  We make a decision to do something and we do this with unabashed clarity most of the time.  Life has been and always will be about decisions and choices.  I always think about the people that day who died and those who survived and the decisions that each of them made that morning.  As you may remember, September 11, 2001 was the first day of school in NYC that day.  Those who choose to take their kids to school that morning were not in the Trade Towers when the planes hit.  So a decision by a husband and wife to have a child 6 years previous, was what saved him or her from dying in those attacks.  Why were those people who were flying on those flights that day on those particular flights?  Were they just going out on a quick business trip?  Were they supposed to leave the day before but could not because they wanted one extra day with their families?  Did they take an earlier flight so they could get back sooner?  Why did that firefighter who was 25 years old want to be a firefighter?  A decision that might have been made by a 10 year old boy ended up taking that boys life fifteen years later.  What about those killed at the Pentagon?  How many of our military members who were there that morning just returned from a deployment or mission and were sitting in the relative comfort of the Pentagon.  After risking their lives in missions around the world, they end up dying while sitting at a desk.  Think about the heroes of United Flight 93 and what they did to prevent further damage.  It took a lot of courage and unique group of people to do what they did and they more than likely saved countless lives while knowing fully well that they were going to lose theirs.  Why did they all end up on that particular flight together.  If the people on the plane were different, would the outcome have been different?  We will never know.

In the end, we have no idea where the decisions and choices that we make today will lead us tomorrow.  We have no idea if the choice we made is the right one or the wrong one.  Though I am not a police detective, we have all watched Law and Order and in every case, the detectives go back in time to piece together various events that led to the crime.  Seemingly every time, there appears a fork in the road and we have to decide which way to go.  We have no idea what the outcome will be by taking either path, all we can do is trust that the Lord will guide us to where He wants us to go.

I pray for the families of September 11, 2001 that they may find peace at some point in time in their lives.  I pray for those in that put their lives on the line every single day to protect all of us.  I pray that we never forget not only those that died that day and in the days since, but those that continue to live and struggle with coping with the tragedy of that day.

God bless America!

The following video has some graphic images that may be sensitive to some people.




2 thoughts on “Where were you when the world stopped turning….”

  1. Jim, You have a way with words and a way of putting things into perspective. We all remember 9/11 but we do not always thinks of the ‘What If’s’. Well put. Thinking of you and love you.

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