I Will Never Ever Forget. No, Not Ever.

I may not be online much today. Today is the 11th 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 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.  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.

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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! :-)
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14 Responses to I Will Never Ever Forget. No, Not Ever.

  1. Julie Church says:

    I remember the day well, I worked in the office of Children’s Learning Center in New London, CT. We got a call that said, “If you want to know what happened to the McCourt family call this number #. We did and discovered that one of our students and her mother and her mother’s best friend were on one of the planes that hit the tower. We, the staff had to keep it together for the sake of all the children in our care. Yes, I remember that day well.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Oh Julie, I am so very sorry about your loss and the sorrowful memory. I knew on that day how my grandparents and parents may have felt on 12/7/41. …I cannot forget, nor do I ever want to.

      • Julie Church says:

        That night when I got home, I had my son turn off the TV and I ate ice cream for dinner! It seems that everyone knew someone who knew someone it effected. And yes, I agree about 12/7/41, the same devastation and heartbreak then too.
        I remember, I was on my way to work and at a stop light, I turned on the radio and as I did, a car had an accident in the intersection and I surmised that they too were listening to the radio. I didn’t see it happen because I was staring at the radio, not believing my ears were hearing right. Being at Ground Zero must have been hell, both in 1941 and 2001.

        • Kate Kresse says:

          I stood stock still in my family room staring at the TV watching the tower burn. I was still standing in the same spot after both the Pentagon plane and the PA plane——too shocked to even call anyone on the phone…..the blood banks in my town had lines down the block 2 hours later

  2. fgassette says:

    I remember the day very well. I live in Pittsburgh and worked in one of the cities skyscrapers. We watched the terrible crash into the World Trade Center on TV at work. Then our whole downtown business area was evacuated because we heard a hijacked plane was headed towards us. I remember rounding up my family, who were scattered all over the city, so we could be together. It was a fearful time. God bless the USA and our solders who has kept us safe since. May God bring comfort to all the families who lost loved ones.


    • Kate Kresse says:

      my friends and relatives went through the same thing in Chicago, Minneapolis, and many other big cities. So glad that there weren’t even more crashes that day.and that we have been kept safe from harm since then. be blessed today and always~

  3. When Iraq bombed New York, I was at home in an area where TV hardly worked and was grainy when it did. We never watched TV. I was clueless until my husband called me from work, with such an unusual voice, and told me to turn on the T.V. He said, “We are under attack.”
    We were.
    We still are.
    I watched all day, grainy depictions of such horror.
    The most horrifying, though, was the interview of a local (N.Y.) class of very young children which included a Muslim girl wearing some sort of head covering. The interviewer asked her about it and triggered such a hate-filled response from her sweet, young heart and mouth: Muslim girls are pearls; American girls are trash.
    So young.
    So totally innocent.
    So horrifying.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I remember her, vividly. That confirmed for me that somehow things had so very radically shifted and changed. ..a horrific day….families I knew in our town in Ohio packed up and headed to Manhattan to search for their relatives that worked in the towers, or that were part of the first responders…..

  4. You are so awesome Kate! A format for people to share and be together. I could not do it yesterday. In fact I found I could not even find words for my post.Too emotional to be sure.
    It will never feel less than it does now.

    I was in downtown Seattle, very ill. My husband worked for Qwest communications an he was put under lock down , all security protocol in place. My kids were in Oregon with grandchildren as well as my brothers. I just remember being really frightened, in shock, too numb at that time to even feel sadness. more shock. I found myself sobbing alone and could take no more so I went and knocked on the door of a lady in her 90’s who lived across the hall. We only knew one another to say hello. Large apartment living in a big downtown city, neighbors are so different.
    But I found the need to be with someone, another person. (wow still so hard to write) She invited me in, told me later the look on my face sad to her I was in trouble.

    She asked me if I’d like to pray with her…..

    Thanks for letting us share here Kate. very cathartic and healing. God bless you BIG girl ~ BB

    • Kate Kresse says:

      I know what you mean. I was so shocked, so scared. sobbing. i had to leave the house mid afternoon to pick my son up at school and bring him home. I just could not stop watching the news. watching people wandering around searching for missing loved ones….watching the news reporters….i remember screaming earlier in the day after the PA plane crashed, because I thought they were in the process of perhaps attacking every major city…..boy oh boy….scary, sad…overwhelming….bless you too sweet toni

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