When the night
Seems to say
All hope is lost
But I know
I'm not alone
By the light
There she waves
Show the way
To the place
Just when you think it might be over
Just when you think the fight is gone
Someone will risk his life to raise her
There she stands
There she flies
Clear blue skies
Reminds us with red
Of those that died
Washed in white
By the brave
In their strength
When evil calls itself a martyr
When all your hopes come crashing down
Someone will pull her from the rubble
There she stands
We've seen her flying torn and tattered
We've seen her stand the test of time
And through it all the fools have fallen
There she stands
By the dawn's
And through the fight
~Michael W. Smith
This song is the result of a request that President Bush made of Michael W. Smith at a meeting between them six weeks after 9-11-2001. Wish that I had heard it many years ago. I don't believe that many people are familiar with the song and that's a shame. You can listen to it for yourself by clicking on the title. (Yes, there are some of the iconic images and video of that day.) The stanza that says Just when you think it might be over, Just when you think the fight is gone perfectly reflects the way I felt on that day.
Below I am reposting a piece I wrote in 2007 describing where I was that Tuesday. We all will forever remember where we were. More importantly, let us remember where we are this day and know that God was and is and forever will be in control. Ours is not the first generation to face devastation. It will not be the last.
This morning, first thing, I lowered the flag to the half-mast position. September 11 will never come and go unremembered for as long as I live. This is true for most Americans, I am certain. There are those who still remember Pearl Harbor with the same devotion.
Six years ago, I was a preschool teacher on an excursion to the library with my students and other staff. The hour 8:45 came and went without any particular notice as the class listened to the librarian read a story. This was followed by a craft time.
At 9:00, we were collected by our dear bus driver Gil who looked at each of us adults with pure terror in her eyes. I will never forget how pale and upset she looked. Gil had the radio on and the news was terrible. A plane had crashed into the north tower and all hell had broken loose.
One of the teacher's husband was a construction worker in NYC at the time, and she began to weep softly. Just as news of the first jumpers came across the airwaves, I asked Gil to please turn off the radio. The little ones had become frightened, too, and were now asking questions. "Why are you crying, Mrs. M? What's wrong? Why are you all sad?"
By the time we had arrived back at school, the entire parking lot was filled with parents' cars and in less than 5 minutes, all the children had been scooped up and taken home. I was grateful for those concerned parents. I was grateful that the children would be home in the bosom of their families because, in my own fear, I had no idea how the day would end or if any of us would live to see the end of that day. It seems almost laughable today, but then it was my reality.
Today, another Tuesday, I think of all those who live in New York City who must rise again to the day despite their fears. May God bless them and all of us.
P.S. If you have time (26 min.), I highly recommend this video: Ten Years Later: A Nation Remembers 9/11 This video is no longer public.
I was getting the boy ready for preschool. My husband came in and announced that there had been an attack (he had just gotten home from a 12 hr shift.) I too remember that day. I will never forget the look on the Presidents face when he was in that classroom. What bravery he showed.ReplyDelete
Hugs Vee, nice to see you. Blessings
Vee, this is such a beautiful and thoughtful post. I've never heard the song by Michael W. Smith so will listen to it. I remember the day well as I was doing housework with the morning news on tv. The voices changed dramatically enough that I went out to the room to see what was going on. I was so shocked as the events of that morning unfolded before my eyes. I will be remembering this event and the thousands of lives it changed on that day all weekend. Blessings and hugs to you. PamelaReplyDelete
This brings tears. There is nothing to do but remember and pray for those who still deal with their losses.ReplyDelete
Focus on the Family has Podcasts of programs they ran with a fireman who survived the collapse of the second building. They are excellent interviews and to hear of the bravery and love shown for fellow man that day........Wow!
I don't know how I might have responded if I'd been there. In the end it was their bravery that saved their lives, allowing them to be in just the right spot at the time of the collapse.
Thank you for sharing that, Becky. I've just finished listening to Chief Jay Jonas tell his remarkable story on a podcast from Focus on the Family. Incredible doesn't describe his survival. A miracle. God. He says that he shudders when people say God was with him that day because God was with everyone that day.ReplyDelete
I don't think I've ever heard this MWS song. Thanks for sharing it. I like so many of us will never forget that morning. I was home alone with the t.v. on. Dear was at work and the kids were at school already. Josh and Laura had been married just 2 weeks. I called Dear and then I called Josh and Laura...they hadn't seen the news yet. The kids came home from school and it was a t.v. news marathon day. A few years later when we were at Wheaton College for Katies orientation there were large crowds and the Beamer family was there for the dedication of a building named in Todd Beamer's honor. Todd and Lisa Beamer were Wheaton graduates...ReplyDelete
May God bless you all. Never forgotten. Stay proud and strong. Hugs, Margie.ReplyDelete
Great post Vee. Even though I'm in Canada, it was still a terrifying day. My boys were off to school and I was pregnant with Gabby. I was watching The Today show for some reason (odd because I never watch morning tv) and heard everything as it happened.ReplyDelete
None of us will every forget that day.
All of these being back so much emotion, I've been in tears all week with the memories, the songs and the tv footage.ReplyDelete
The lyrics and the song give me goose bumps. Perfect. And your words toolReplyDelete
Perfect song, I'd never heard it before. This event brought us closer as a country. This day will never be forgotten and will remain in our memories forever. It is a part of America's history, we were attacked. A day that changed us all.ReplyDelete
Vee, I hadn't heard that song either. Will have to check it out. 9-11 has been our hearts and minds here, too. I bought a brand new flag to fly tomorrow. It even has a yellow ribbon of remembrance on it.ReplyDelete
I was at home, Tony called me when the first plane hit. I spent the rest of the day into the night sitting on the sofa in tears of horror just watching the news. It still tears at my heart today. It will and it should for all of us forever.
It is still hot outside this evening...and I just got goosebumps as I read your recount of that 'unforgettable day'! How well I remember the phone call that came that morning...to turn on the TV...and then watching the events unfold as they did. It was the most memorable birthday my hubby ever had...and likely the saddest one.ReplyDelete
Just the right song...by MWS.
I was in our Whole Foods in Deerfield, IL, we had just finished the monthly crack of dawn meeting and were preparing to open the store. A whole group of team members were gathered around the telly...... I had a daughter in DC and one in Pittsburgh.ReplyDelete
I read a story last week in the UK papers about a man from Cornwall, working in one of the Towers in security, who was convinced there would be a *big * one after the bombings in the 90s. Drove his co-workers mad by endlessly repeating fire drills etc amidst endless grumbling. Most of the employees of that company got out safely as they knew what to do because of him (and where they were in the building, obviously). He went back for one more employee and never came out. So many stories.
Was so very edgy all day yesterday as the WT was flying into NY, he's safely in Michigan now.
Vee, I don't think anyone could create a more beautiful tribute and remembrance for this day. After reading this and watching the videos, I simply directed people to your blog. Thank you for creating this.ReplyDelete
Beautiful post! This day always brings tears to me.ReplyDelete
Thank you...it is amazing to hear the stories of where we were,what was happening at the time we heard. Let us never forget, let us never give up..let us be strong and loving.ReplyDelete
Dear Vee, thank you for sharing this heartfelt post, as we too are remembering those who lost their lives that day, and our prayers are with their families who are still struggling to get their lives put back together. Haven't heard this song, but will now.ReplyDelete
I was getting ready to go for an eye doctor's appointment, went anyhow, but everyone was in shock and disbelief of the morning's events and very apprehensive of what was next.
I think all of us will always remember where we were at and what we were doing, as we saw this country, whom we love so dear, be changed in a moment of a twinkling of an eye. How wonderful to have you there to help, and comfort these children to remain calm, band asking the news be turned off.
p.s. grandson Will slipped in on us last night and that has been a pleasant surprise, I look at him and am even more thankful for men like him who help protect our freedoms.
Sorry for the long letter, I should have e-mailed, maybe next time. ~smile~
I had landed in Ecuador the day before - our youngest was in grade 10 at the time. My husband was still in Canada. The oldest two children were in university in Canada.ReplyDelete
I was vacuuming the house (left empty for two months) when my daughter called from school to tell me the news. I immediately turned on the television and watched for hours, the vacuum cleaner left on the floor.
I remember feeling quite alone and cut off from my other family members so far away. And how grieved we all were for our American friends.
This is a thoughtful and beautiful post, Vee. Thank you.
As a New Yorker the day is as vivid as if it happened yesterday. I sat for hours this morning listening to each and every name being read on TV with tears in my eyes. There are a few dozen of those names of people we knew who perished too soon. I try to honor those people each year by doing something good for another person. I want love and kindness to be the legacy of 9-11 in honor of those lives that were lost. Good triumphs over evil that way.ReplyDelete
This is a beautiful song, Vee, and a wonderful video . Thansk for sharing them!
How could we forget? Nor should we. I had never heard the Michael W. Smith song, the words are strong and moving. I'll be having my daughters listen later and the 3 of us will take the time to watch the video. We were in the mountains yesterday so missed all of the programs that would have revisited this important day. We did share our own remembrances of where we were and how we were impacted. The girls were too young to remember so it's up to me to help them see the importance and significance of supporting our Country's heros. Thanks Vee.ReplyDelete
G'mornin', Mizz Vee, well, most Southerners DON'T like sweet cornbread..I can eat both, like unsweetened best and Mr. Sweet wouldn't touch sweetened cornbread with a 10 ft. pole. So, when it's he and I..unsweet. When grands are here, it's sweet AND unsweet. So that's 2 pans of cornbread..ReplyDelete
what a GOOD woman won't do for her family..I do declare!! :))
A very moving post, Vee. I remember where I was...at work in the Utility Office at City Hall. I will never be able to fathom the despicable and evil hatred these terrorists have in their hearts. But I will always remember that day and think of the lives lost and of the courage shown by those who tried to help. I'll always think of the sacrifices of those who have kept our country safe since that day, too. God Bless the USA!ReplyDelete
Thanks for this thoughtful post.......I still have trouble believing this horrific thing happened.....it feels like a very bad dream....I wish it were a bad dream.ReplyDelete
I appreciate your post Vee. Thank you for sharing. I thought much of 9/11 this year as well ...how could we help but remember?ReplyDelete
This was beautiful Vee ... I'll never forget that day. We were still living in NYC and my husband was on Canal Street, just a few blocks away from the towers when the second plane hit. Thankfully he left before they fell. May we never forget that day.ReplyDelete