Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning–My Post # 247 for 9/11

Today is the 10th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, the airliner downed in PA, and the attack on the heart and soul of America. On 9/11 I happened to be at home after dropping my son off at school and had turned on the news. I had NBC on and saw the coverage of the 1st tower that had already been hit. As I watched, the second jet hit the second tower. I was in shock. I had friends that worked in the towers. It was only about an hour and a half from where I used to live. Friends of mine had adult children, friends, siblings, and other relatives that worked at or near the towers. The daughter of a dear friend barely escaped with her life from the Towers. The brother of a college friend witnessed the tower hits from his nearby office building. Another friend was a few yards from the 2nd tower when it was hit…..the list goes on. May God bring each of them comfort. May God give a kind and loving heart for the unbelievers. May God teach us ALL to be gentle with each other.

I remember feeling afraid when the planes began to fly again about a week later. I remember doing a lot of crying–at church, at home, and everywhere else. I remember bringing plates full of cookies to the firehouses and police stations in tearful gratitude for all of their service. I remember my heart breaking when people said we deserved what had happened because of our nations’ policies….I remember the necessity of finding my courage so I would not be forever paralyzed by fear. I remember it being impossible for a long time to be a perennial optimist. I remember crying buckets of tears when the networks showed bells ringing in remembrance of our victims in churches around the world. I was astonished at the time that anyone in any country felt grief for our situation. All I had heard for a long time was how much the world hated us. It gave me hope that there was anyone anywhere that cared enough to show support, love, and prayers.

I remember this song by Alan Jackson being really special to me at that time. Do you remember it too? Here are the lyrics. After the lyrics, I have a bit more to say.

Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?

Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don’t know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?

Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell
you the difference in Iraq and Iran

But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?

Did you feel guilty ’cause you’re a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?

Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you’re watchin’
And turn on “I Love Lucy” reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

[Repeat Chorus 2x]
And the greatest is love.
And the greatest is love.
Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day!


Pax Dominus everyone…..God heals the deepest sorrow. Our loved ones will greet us when we meet them in heaven. May the healing grace of God fill the hearts of everyone this 9/11–and may only kind and loving words cross our lips today…and my fervent hope is that it will be that way every day. May all who serve others be doubly blessed today. May we each see the best in others today—and assume only the best about others.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in faith/courage/miracles/hope, politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning–My Post # 247 for 9/11

  1. Kate, this was gorgeous. Thanks for it.

  2. Shevawn O'Connor says:

    “I remember my heart breaking when people said we deserved what had happened because of our nations’ policies.” I totally remember running up against this perception when discussing the causes of the attack at that time. The only people I knew of/know of who use the word “deserve” in connection with the 9/11 tragedy were/are terrorists, so I would call it a misperception if it refers to people like me who think looking at the big picture is an imperative, especially is situations like that one. I, and people like me, spoke in terms of cause and effect. Decades of misguided American foreign policy was a factor. Nobody “deserves” that kind of suffering.
    My daughter’s bicycle was stolen a few years ago. She hadn’t locked it. She didn’t “deserve” to have it stolen, but recognizing that not locking it again might lead to the same consequences would hopefully prevent her from forgetting to lock it in the future. It’s not right that someone just took it. But some people have been brought up to look out for number 1, or think that if the bike wasn’t locked it was because God wanted them to take it, or whatever. Analyzing the whole situation, learning from it can help to prevent a repeat experience. People obviously shouldn’t steal, but given that some do, let’s deal with it realistically. I think what I’ve discovered in recent years is that personality type has something to do with these mis-communications. Some people (let’s call them the E’s) need to completely finish feeling their Emotions, before their powers of analysis kick in. And others analyze (the A’s) WHILE feeling. The A’s sound cold and heartless to the E’s. From the A’s perspective, the E’s sound like they’re into being victims and want to bury their heads in the sand. Both kinds of people are needed in this world. Have you ever tried crying on an A’s shoulder? Instead of hugging you, they give you a list of websites to check for solutions to your problem! Have you ever been in an emergency with an E? By the time they stop yelling and screaming and running around aimlessly their cell-phone’s battery has died.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      By the way I was not referring to as you put it “people like you who think looking at the big picture is an imperative”. Most people I know (including me) try to ensure they are looking at the big picture, no matter what the issue. My teachers, relatives, friends, etc always think it’s important/essential to look at the big picture. How else can we begin to have an accurate analysis if we don’t try to be reasoned and fair? That only comes about by listening to all sides with an open heart. After all, that was a significant reason behind the creation of the U.N. so that we as nations could come together and discuss rather than continue to explode into war.
      I was hoping to clearly state the need on the anniversary for kindness. Wasn’t trying to lecture, correct, or admonish—but it did come across that way. I do apologize for that. I am, after all, responsible for my own words! :–), and I should have skipped that sentence entirely. I would take it out now, but that would make our comments kind of confusing. I will say that I no longer want that sentence in there. It was obviously not only unnecessary but highly insulting and inflammatory.

      Miss Noel (my SMC English prof) would most definitely call me on the carpet {as usual} for my unwillingness to edit my own work. Absolutely LOVED your E’s and A’s writeup. Well said, by the way.

  3. Shevawn O'Connor says:

    OMG, no, Kate, no need to apologize, because it was not insulting or inflammatory! The sentence should stay there, because I’m convinced that that was the sincere perception on the part of many. And I ultimately mean that maybe some of us A’s should have “given a hug” before looking for “the cell-phone”, if you catch my drift. Probably we rushed to finger-pointing to the past with an “I told you so!” tone because…well…we had thought (and said) that nothing good could come of those policies, given everything else that was going on in the world. But NOBODY, outside of the CIA/military intelligence people, could have predicted something on that scale. I distinctly recall my very first reaction. “Lord, God in Heaven, oh, what we, your creatures, are capable of doing to each other!!! Can you ever forgive us?” And the answer, thank heavens, is, of course, YES! Now we need to work on forgiving each other, and ASKING forgiveness, which doesn’t seem to be fashionable anymore.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Yeah, that was a sincere perception on the part of many. And the rush to nationalism a sincere perception, too. Of course no one could have predicted it would happen. And forgiveness, gentleness, maners, biting of tongues and asking forgiveness isn’t fashionable anymore….I feel so OLD ;–) . Thanks for the feedback

  4. Mel Minarik says:

    Shevawn…. Did you graduate from Naz Academy in 1973? Connect with me – Mel Minarik mminarik@unr.edu

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