Where Were You?

My thoughts immediately go back to our apartment in Donetsk, Ukraine when I see images or hear a song or story about that ominous Sept. 11th when the USA was attacked by terrorists.  On this anniversary, here are a few of my memories:

1. Wondering if it was some sort of horrible reality show idea, or something actually occurring as we watched it unfold on BBC.

2. Feeling more than 6,000 miles away as we thought of our family and friends struggling with this back in the USA.

3. Being awestruck with the expressions of sorrow and the prayers of the Ukrainian Christians who suffered so for us and for our country on that day and the days that followed.

4. Going through the frustration of seeing Truitt and Kay try frantically to fly back to the US when flights to the US had been grounded (had been visiting us and teaching at the school).

5. Watching teenage boys trying to manage their emotions as they followed the "adult" images day by day.

6. Standing in our apartment in honor of the dead rescue workers who ran into the falling structures when everyone else was running away. 

7. Seeing the reaction in Great Britain and in other countries as they showed solidarity with us.

8. Praying to God that we never go through another moment like this again.

9. Seeing leaders like George Bush and Rudy Giuliani stand and speak so powerfully before the world and at the same time bend their knees and ask for prayers for the country and those affected.

10. Going home later through the increased safety measures in airports listening in amazement to people complain about delays and too much safety precautions when all I could think was that I wanted everyone checked as much as possible.

There are other memories to be sure.  I hope we will all take some time and remember. One of my favorite songs is Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning by Alan Jackson.  I like his singing and the lyrics, but I also like how it takes me back to that Ukrainian apartment.  Here are the lyrics to the song...

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising 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
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to 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 that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
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 love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun

Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
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

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

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

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

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