On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I went to work as normal, which was at Brooks AFB, TX. My team and I began our daily stand-up telecon at 0830 with our D.C. army representatives on the line. Just shy of 0900, one of the D.C. guys was told that an airplane had hit one of the World Trade Centers in New York. We initially thought it was just a tragic accident made by an inexperienced private pilot, but a few minutes later, he was interrupted again to learn that a second "jet" had hit the other World Trade Center and that the U.S. was under an active terrorist attack. The base immediately entered into threatcon Delta, which means that only mission essential personnel are to stay on duty and all others have only minutes to get off base before the gates are locked down. So I drove home to our little apartment and monitored the news throughout the morning and helplessly watched my fellow innocent Americans burn to death or leap. Then the Pentagon was hit.
I put myself in the place of those who were above the impacted floors of the WTC buildings. I imagined the confusion, fear, and decisions that would have gone through my mind. Thoughts of never hugging my kids or wife again. Thoughts of them having to grow up without me there to help them. Thoughts of how I was about to die. It truly caused me to pause, and still does to this day. I just accept the fact that evil exists in this world and all I can do is live each day as if it were possibly my last. I believe that God gave people free will to make good and bad decisions. I choose to keep my focus on the broader purposes of life, which I believe is to love God and love others. Friends and enemies alike...I want them all to be in heaven one day and if I wish eternal damnation for evildoers, then I'm just playing right into the hands of Satan. He wants us to harbor hate and revenge, but I feel like I need to look at it through spiritual eyes and NOT necessarily my physical eyes and mind. Yes, at times I don't abide by that goal. I absolutely find myself wanting the very worst for these people who inflict pain, suffering, and misery on innocent lives, but that doesn't change God's love for ALL of us.
I challenge whoever reads this to just say a simple prayer that God's love will somehow enter into the hearts and lives of terrorists throughout the world. To some, that's a radical concept, but I think that's what we should do as believers in Jesus.