I'm sitting at my kitchen table looking through our patio door to the wet world outside. There are big, fluffy, white and gray clouds up in the sky and large puddles on the ground because when it rains in the desert, it floods. The sound of the rain on the roof sounds familiar and at the same time strangely eye-opening, like I'm hearing it for the first time, because it is not a common sound in Pahrump, Nevada.
Sometimes that's how I feel when I'm thinking about the 9/11 attacks. The story that I tell myself, of what I remember from that day is so familiar. I was awake and getting ready for school. I had early morning seminary, and a classmate was usually dropped off at our house so he could ride to seminary with my sister, Erin, and me. When he got there, he told us to turn on the television. The first tower had been hit. We didn't know what had happened. The three of us decided to go to seminary, but it was hard to concentrate when we were there. We went home after seminary, instead of going to school. By then, the second plane had crashed into the South tower and I think both towers had collapsed by then too. Our classmate's parent's picked him up, and Erin and I stayed home and watched the TV with my parents that morning. It was a devastating morning. I did a lot of crying and wrote in my journal.
But there are also times when I learn new things about 9/11 or hear a new perspective, and it is like this is the first time I've heard about it. I was talking to a young woman in my church congregation the other day, and realized that she was 2 when the attacks took place. All of her known life the United States has been dealing with the impact of this event. That showed me that I can still experience the "realization" that this is the kind of world we live in.
I am happy and saddened at the events that have taken place since September 11, 2001. I am happy that our country is so strong and that we've been able to survive these last 10 years. I am happy that Osama bin Laden is dead. I am happy that in some ways, terrorists have been weakened. But I am sad that we continue to have to fight them and to defend our country. I am sad because of all of the loss that has taken place since that day. I am sad that extremists can't accept Americans as their brothers and sisters, and that many Americans can't accept Muslims as their brothers and sisters.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings on this day, as I remember the events of a decade ago. I know that I just have to keep working on myself and my own spiritual rebuilding after any tragedy or any sorrow. The Lord can heal us all and make us grateful for the different perspectives that we gain throughout our lives.