Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Today is not only Jen’s birthday, but it is perhaps the strangest and most spiritually intense days I have yet experienced. Last night, God gave me a really good night of sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought that I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, but a few seconds later, my alarm was going off and I had slept through the rest of the night so soundly that it felt as if no time had passed at all. I had planned on getting into the office early today so that I could have a good amount of time in prayer before beginning the rest of my day, but I fell back asleep and didn’t wake up for another hour. After telling myself I would hurriedly get ready for work, I still took a little while to get ready. In fact, I watched the rest of “Arthur” on TV with Charlie after he finished his breakfast and Jen was in the shower.

In some ways, that was all providential because after Arthur, Jen usually turns on the news to find out the weather for the day. Since I finished watching the show, I turned to the news and to my amazement found that every major network was showing live coverage of a fire in the first building of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. They told how at 8:50 am EDT, a plane had crashed into the side of the building, and I could see a gaping hole on the 90th floor where the plane entered the building. I was dumbfounded as I watched the news broadcast describing the horror of the moment, smoke billowing out of the top of the tower as if it were one gigantic chimney. Then, right during the broadcast, at 9:05 EDT, another plane entered the view of the TV camera and proceeded to smash into the side of the second tower as the cameras were broadcasting live video.

I watched the broadcast for an hour there as the newspeople were describing the events and the interpretation of them. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the two planes were commercial jets and likely passenger jets. The government enforced a no fly zone around New York. Federal employees were being evacuated from Washington, DC. And then, the news came that American Airlines was confirming reports that one of their planes had indeed been hijacked after leaving Boston. That plane was the one that hit the second of the two towers.

Then, while coverage was continuing and the news stations were continuing to describe the rescue efforts underway, the second tower buckled and collapsed. The ENTIRE TOWER just fell straight down to the ground like when large buildings are demolished with explosives. The top part buckled, and then fell destroying the rest of the tower underneath it. That happened at 10:05 EDT, but within another 30 minutes the first tower crumbled as well. Within such a brief period of time, both World Trade Towers were completely demolished! But the story wasn’t over. At about that time, it was reported that a third plane had crashed into the side of the Pentagon, and a fourth plane had crashed outside of Pittsburgh (apparently on its way to a more strategic target). All in all, two United airplanes and two American Airlines airplanes were hijacked this morning for this dramatic act of terrorism. Four commercial, passenger jetliners totaling hundreds of people, were hijacked and used by suicide bombers to destroy the Twin Towers, damage the Pentagon, and kill many more people in a field in Pennsylvania.

There is just too much information to try to process all of it now.