I will never forget, no not ever

I ran this post last year, and am re-running it today ~ with the year updated, of course.

My friend Pete (who served in the Navy) says this: “Take this from 9/11, and the sacrifice of so many on that day and countless others… Be a worthy American. Don’t be a fear- or hate-monger. Engage, but as a thinking person, a constructive, respectful and honest citizen. Work with the system, not around it – especially when the goal is to change it. Only if the majority of us do this can we be the great country, the gleaming city-on-the-hill that we were meant to be”.  He has a good point. We need to try very hard to work together.

Ok—here is what I wrote a year ago (although then I said it was the 11th anniversary, of course).

I may not be online much today. Today is the 12th 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.

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 9/11 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I will never forget, no not ever

  1. auntyuta says:

    We were very shocked that something like this could happen in America. And of course we are never going to forget this day. However, I also feel sad when I think about all the innocent people who get slaughtered all over the world to this day because of violent disagreements.
    I do not want anyone to suffer a violent death. I pray for peace all over the world. May the peace makers be more and more successful!

  2. dogear6 says:

    Where were you living when it happened? We were living in Rochester, New York at the time. Everyone around us was affected in some way. The New York auditors lost an entire office; our case manager (auditing the company I worked for) was so distraught I thought he would have a heart attack. It took him a long time to get over it. Even clerks in the stores knew someone who died.

    It was a beautiful fall day when it happened. Had it happened on a bitter cold day, the losses would have been even higher. At least people could walk their way out of it. I went out for lunch, looked at the sky and could not imagine the horrors at the other end of the state.



    • Kate Kresse says:

      I was living in Ohio at the time. We had lived in NJ right outside Philly for almost 10 years, though—and many of our friends commuted into Manhattan every day for their jobs. We were unable to reach our friends for days—and a number of their co-workers died in the tragedy. We had college friends that worked in the Pentagon. I think many, many people knew people affected by 9/11. Friends in OH had friends and relatives working at the twin towers. You are correct—it was a gloriously gorgeous day… Vivid blue sky. I couldn’t believe the unfolding events—

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s